Beats Me

Pippa wants to know if there’s a term for the rhetorical device of establishing a rhyme scheme, then departing from it by substituting a non-rhyming synonym (or related word) for a word that would complete the rhyme scheme? Something such as,

No blogger’s benigner
Than Berkeley’s Dave Winer.
But women distress him
(Especially J. Sessum,
And sometimes Liz Lawley
And quite often, Shelley).
As fall days grow dimmer
I turn to Steve Himmer.
My troubles seem fainter
When I read Frank Paynter.
No courtier or pageboy
Is Chris Locke (the Rageboy).
While wise, kind Doc Searls
Offers wisdom in oysters.

Apologies for the doggerel, and for not including several friends whose names didn’t provoke immediate candidates for rhyming (or would have disrupted the meter).
But back to the point — is there a name for that? I couldn’t think of one.

3 thoughts on “Beats Me

  1. I’ve heard it called “subverted rhyme,” but I don’t know if that’s an official term or just a term of convenience.

  2. I don’t know a name for it, but it reminds me of those semi-bowdlerized off-color ditties that substitute, at a line’s end, a harmless word for the obvious and taboo word expected. Though the substitute word wouldn’t, I think, be a synonym or related word, but a highly-contrasting word to call attention to the substitution.

    As much as I like foul-mouthed poetry, I think the devise is actually more satisfying to me in your bit above.

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