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23 Whatever you do, do your work heartily, as for the Lord rather than for men, 24 knowing that from the Lord you will receive the reward of the inheritance. It is the Lord Christ whom you serve. ~ Colossians 3:23-24, NASB

As a literary device, the couplet is a verse that is part of a poem—like in the last two lines of a sonnet, or two consecutive rhyming lines in a dramatic monologue or a play. Usually, this kind of two-line verse is an “open couplet” because the couplet’s full meaning often cannot be ascertained from just its two lines.

Then too, the couplet also can be an independent poem or a “closed couplet.” If the couplet can stand alone from the rest of a poem or a play’s scenes, then it is a “closed couplet.”

Whether an open or closed couplet, the couplet always has two consecutive rhyming lines that have the same meter (usually iambic pentameter). Additionally, the couplet always forms a complete thought, resolves a situation, or gives commentary on the work’s theme.

Some examples of couplets are as follows—2 open and 2 closed couplets, respectively:


But if thou live, remembere’d not to be,
Die single and thine image dies with thee. ~

from Shakespeare’s “Sonnet III,” lines 13-14


The time is out of joint: O cursed spite, 
That ever I was born to set it right!

~ from Shakespeare’s Hamlet, Act 1, Scene 5, Lines 188-189


A little learning is a dang’rous thing; 
Drink deep, or taste not the Pierian spring:

~ from Alexander Pope’s An Essay on Criticism, Part 2, Lines 15-16


True wit is nature to advantage dress’d, 
What oft was thought, but ne’er so well express’d,

~ from Alexander Pope’s An Essay on Criticism, Part 2, Lines 96-97


Currently, I am working on a third poetry anthology, and I am working on a collection of hearty Bible verses that are seamlessly woven together with earnest prayers and inspirational poems—my couplets. In this posting is one of my many couplet poems that are in my mentioned manuscripts. That couplet appears below, as well as in the above graphic.

Perfected Liberty

Sin chains every victim to Hell’s portals.
Christ’s sacrifice frees accepting mortals.

~ Nadine Drayton-Keen

  • Composed April 28, 2017