some variations/permutations of the couplet:

  • the heroic couplet, which is always in iambic pentameter, gets its name from the form used in various 17th and 18th century translations of heroic epics

  • closed couplets end definitively, usually with a period or some such signifier, while open couplets can flow with the same idea from one to the next

  • triplets add a third rhyming line as a variation (as opposed to the tercet, which is three lines to begin with)

  • the alexandrine is another variation, generally used as a last line (and often as the third of a triplet); it has twelve syllables, and emphasizes the end of the poem, and usually offers some sort of summary or punch line as well

Coup"let (-l?t), n. [F. couplet, dim. of couple. See Couple, n. ]

Two taken together; a pair or couple; especially two lines of verse that rhyme with each other.

A sudden couplet rushes on your mind. Crabbe.


© Webster 1913.

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