n Institute of African Studies Research Review - Rhymes in Buli proverbs, songs and poems

Volume 25, Issue 1
  • ISSN : 0855-4412



This paper deals with a small area of Bulsa prosody. End-rhymes, alliteration and tonal patterns are examined in Bulsa proverbs, songs and other genres of Bulsa oral literature, whose creators do not respect strict prosodic patterns, but make use of rhymes for embellishment and for contrast with everyday speech.

Although some rhymes may be chance products of the poetry process, they are nevertheless accepted as welcome embellishments. It has, however, been proved that some poets create rhymes and other poetic patterns consciously and on purpose, even if, as a form of poetical licence, the mode of expression offends the standard use of correct everyday speech.
Apart from rhymes proper, other types of poetic pattern are analysed in the paper, e.g. chiasmus, parallelism, symmetry and the use of consonants and vowels to produce euphony. Moreover, it has been regarded necessary to analyse the contents of some poems for a better understanding of the Buli oral literature discussed.

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