Rhyming poetry

You don’t need rhymes to write poetry. Often rhymes ruin the message you’re trying to get across. You use a word that rhymes, but detracts from your point.
We of an older generation (me, for example) seem to have an idea that all poetry should rhyme. Rhyme works for fun little poems, for songs and for some children’s poetry.

If you want to write rhyming poetry, be prepared to work hard. You’ll have to master rhyme AND meter. In my opinion, poetry is the highest form of writing. Don’t smudge your paper with inadequate rhymes.


11 responses to “Rhyming poetry

  1. Yeah, that’s true. A lot of people believe that for a poem to be a poem, it must rhyme. I’ve always believe that a poem is more about the flow and rhythm of the words, and what they express–whether they rhyme or not. I’ve written many pieces that don’t rhyme a bit, but nearly every reader classified them as poetry. It’s all about the way the words are strung together. Ah, you can probably tell I’m passionate about this…great post, I completely enjoyed it!

  2. Well said! I agree 100%. A lot of people seem to have this mistaken belief that poetry should always rhyme. I find rhyming poetry far more difficult than free verse for precisely the reason you’ve given. If it rhymes but detracts from my point, I am not happy with it, so I will choose whatever I feel works best for that particular poem.

  3. I agree, poetry is one of the highest forms of writing! I must admit though, I have great admiration for a person who can get their point across in rhyme and some of my favourite poems have accomplished it with amazing beauty.

  4. Poetry is very verse-atile. I have written both rhyming and non-rhyming poems. For my completed novel about a 17th century Italian composer I wrote an Italian sonnet which of course has rhyme according to its form…I found it really fun to do. But words can have a singing quality in themselves and create a lyrical flow without actual rhyme. I like poetry that is very visual when read on the page and musical read out loud. As far as poetry being the highest form of writing…well, my prose is always aspiring to be poetic!

  5. The difficulty that I find with poetry is that it is intensely personal to the poet and too often there can be a failure of the reader or the listener to appreciate the message or the story that every poem has. I stopped taking my poetry to my regular critique groups because there was insufficient time to look at and appreciate the words and thoughts. You’re right about the rhyming. Comments like “I like a poem that rhymes” is what you get back rather than any thoughtful reflection. Little poetry rhymes these days or the rhyme is simply an echo of a sound in part of your word. Much more important is the imagery and magic of the words as they are placed carefully down, well-thought out in relation to their neighbours.

    To me. poetry is a highest literary calling for those blessed enough with the skill and artistry to carry it off. LIke anything of any real value in society, we devalue it because of our lack of understanding, lack of appreciation of its innate beauty. Love hockey but should a hockey player receive $1M per year or should our poets, painters, sculpturers or teachers?

    • You well describe the intensity of poetry and how society undervalues it. Not only is it undervalued, it’s been taken away from the people. What if poets and we aspiring poets stood on street corners and read out poetry?

  6. Brethren, Sistren, time has come,
    To rend this rhet’ric chain
    That keeps our poems tum-de-dum
    And ends each line in train.
    Enough ! Why must our efforts follow form ?
    Enough ! Why must their rhyming be the norm ?
    Enough, I say, bring forth the storm !
    Blow down this old refrain !

    I call on you, eschew all those
    Whose meter always chimes.
    You doubt how we with formless prose
    Can fight these structured times ?
    We must ! Until their villanelles concede.
    We must ! Until their trudge-iambics bleed.
    We must, I say, so take my lead:
    Reject this curse of rhymes !

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