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Perfect Rhymes.

Perfect Rhymes.

New York Times Saturday Review of Books:
    Apropos of "perfect rhymes," Mr. William T. Browne, in THE NEW YORK TIMES BOOK REVIEW, Oct. 7, has erred in but one of the rhymes he mentions. "Eclipse" cannot rhyme with "lips." The old law of rhyme runs something like this: Unlike preceding consonants, like vowels, and succeeding consonants, will not allow the rhyming of like words, such as "lipse" with "lips." No matter what license is taken with the sounded vowels and succeeding consonants, the preceding consonants should be different. Many of our best poets of all times have occasionally broken this rule of "breast" with "rest," the reason being that there are very few words which will rhyme perfectly with "breast."
    As regards the "delicate ear." If the poet be compelled to rhyme such words as "breast" with "rest," and "eclipse" with "lips," he must know that while such are pardonable, they can never wholly please the delicate ear of poetry lovers.
    The law of rhyme sanctions such rhymes as those spoken of several times in these columns of late.
    Phonetically, "storm" with "warm," fruits" with "roots," &c., are perfect rhymes. In such a language as ours, spoken everywhere and never in two sections exactly alike, the poet's best guide is his own ear, abiding by the rule phonetically according to the language as it is spoken in his own section.
                                                                             JAMES WYNKOOP.
    Salt Lake, Utah, Oct. 16, 1905.


Source:

Wynkoop, James, "Perfect Rhymes," The New York Times, New York, Saturday, 21 October 1905, p. BR714.

Created October 31, 2004; Revised October 31, 2004
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