Despite not having a regular metrical scheme, “Harlem” does feature a somewhat—but not perfectly—regular rhyme scheme. Hughes does use end rhyme throughout the poem, but the rhymes are not consistently spaced. Instead, as the poem unfolds, the end rhymes get closer and closer together. We can see this pattern if we examine the ten indented lines that appear after the opening question. Broken down by stanza, the rhyme scheme appears as follows: ABCBDED FG G. Notice that the first rhyme, represented by the letter B, occurs as part of the quatrain ABCB. The second rhyme, represented by the letter D, comes not as part of a quatrain but as part of a tercet: DED. The third and final rhyme, represented by the letter G, occurs across a stanza break, but works essentially as a couplet: GG. Moving thus from quatrain to tercet to couplet, the pace of rhyming increases. In addition to giving the poem an overall sense of acceleration, the increasing frequency of rhyme also suggests compression, like a coil that’s getting ready to spring. This dynamic of compression and release is precisely what’s implied in the poem’s final rhyme—between “load” (line 10) and “explode” (line 11).