Edited by David Caplan, On Rhyme collects essays by leading scholars from America and the United Kingdom. Like its subject, the essays on rhyme range broadly. They consider an array of topics and employ a number of approaches. Surveying the field, the authors examine rhyme in various historical periods (including the Renaissance, Augustan, Romantic, Modern and Contemporary eras) and in different genres (including poetry and song). Several consider how particular artists (such as the poets Robert Creeley, Emily Dickinson, and Edmund Spenser, and the Somali-born hip-hop artist K’naan) utilize rhyme. Others analyze the shifting attitudes toward rhyme that characterize particular historical periods. Close readings extend insights from linguistics, philosophy, and literary criticism. A selection of poems adds to the interdisciplinary approach as poets offer their own perspectives on the technique.
Suggesting its main emphases, the book is divided into six sections: Rhyme in Modern and Contemporary American Poetry, Rhyme across Time Periods, Rhyme in Earlier Periods, Poetry Portfolio, Hip Hop and Rhyme, and Rhyme in Other Texts.
David Caplan is the Charles M. Weis Professor of English and Associate Director of Creative Writing at Ohio Wesleyan University. He is the author of four books of literary criticism and poetry, most recently, Rhyme’s Challenge: Hip Hop, Poetry, and Contemporary Rhyming Culture.