November 25, 2010

Rhyming and Reason

If I want a poem to rhyme, does that make me the Devil? Not just in a last-two-lines-makes-the-whole-thing-sound-neat kind of way, but throughout a poem. Is that clumsy and infantile and limerick-like? Am I basically confessing to being the kind of girl who still has some beanie babies tucked away somewhere in a dark cupboard, carefully arranged so that they appear to be playing tiddlywinks with each other? Am I senselessly twee and do I deserve to be shot? Do I enjoy otters in booties?

Okay, so I actually know the answer to the last three questions, but that doesn't make the first two invalid. I am THINKING about experimenting with rhyme. I usually over elaborate and fluff things, might it help to enforce some structure?  I'm also considering sapphic verse a la H.D. or William Carlos Williams? What DID happen to my beanie babies?

You decide, faithful reader (I know I don't have any, but it's comforting to pretend, particularly since this blog is much easier to use than my notebook which is full of doodles of the food I wished I were eating during lectures).

In other creative news, I have a massive creative crush on Mervyn Peake, specifically his nonsense poetry. Have a look at the sexiness HERE: http://www.mervynpeake.org/nonsense.html

AUNTY FLO

When Aunty Flo
Became a Crow
She had a bed put in a tree;
And there she lay
And read all day
Of ornithology.

By Mervyn Peake

He also was responsible for some lovely illustrations I saw once in the Fitzwilliam Museum in Cambridge. I'll post these separately so that people who are bored of this long and pointless post will be tricked into looking at them.


- 3 comments by 1 or more people Not publicly viewable

  1. Sue

    I’m also a big fan of Mervyn Peake, though I don’t havw a crush on him.

    25 Nov 2010, 22:59

  2. Sue

    Rhyming poetry can be fun and your example made me smile maybe because my grandmother was called Florence and my Mum and her siblings called her “Flo”. But I usually prefer non-rhyming poetry> Like this:-

    The vastest things are those we may not learn.
    We are not taught to die, nor to be born,
    Nor how to burn
    With love.
    How pitiful is our enforced return
    To those small things we are the masters of.

    Mervyn Peake

    26 Nov 2010, 09:49

  3. Kirsty Judge

    But there’s some lovely assonance in there! I really like your example. Desperately wanted to re-read Gormenghast before I got here, but the time has been stolen away. I tend to think a bit more about non-rhyming poems- they encourage you to really look at the words chosen instead of thinking about them in terms of rhythm and rhyming structure. I’ll probably post a stab at rhyming relatively soon (as soon as I can produce something that isn’t completely humiliating in its terrible-ness). Thanks for the comment!

    26 Nov 2010, 10:14


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