Couplet

Definition

A couplet is a stanza (or even a poem) consisting of two lines. These need not rhyme, nor be the same length, but can be. If there is no enjambment at the end of the second line, it can be called a closed couplet (the opposite being an open couplet), especially if this is a recurring pattern. A closed rhyming couplet in iambic pentameter, especially one which forms a unit of sense, is called a heroic couplet; many of these can be found in Pope's 'Essay on Man'. It is also possible to find a longer poem whose lines are rhymed in pairs - aabbcc etc - described as being in rhyming couplets, even if the stanzas are longer than two lines.

How to use this term

Elaine Feinstein's 'Urban Lyric' has an individual aspect of the scene in each couplet, each of which is linked, however, to the adjacent aspects.
 

Related Terms

 

Related Poems

The Children's Archive

This part of the Archive is full of poems chosen specially for children. Meet old favourites and make new discoveries.

Support The Poetry Archive
The Poetry Archive depends on donations from public bodies and private individuals. Find out how you can contribute to the work of the Archive.
Search for a poem or a poet:

My Archive

Create lists of your favourite poems and poets and share them with friends.

Browse all poets by name

View all poets

Browse all poems by title

View all poems

Glossary of poetic terms

View full glossary