Rhythm and Rhyme Workshop


Workshop for poetry written in traditional forms.
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Thomas Vaughan Jones Thomas Vaughan Jones Male, 79, United Kingdom (1/22/2014 8:30:00 AM)

Probably the most important aspect of rhyming poetry is not neccessarily the rhyme itself. Forced rhyme, ie. finding words to end a line purely for the sake of a rhyme is an abomination. Rather we should find the correct syllables and meter to make the line read smoothly. Then we match the lines to complement each other, so that they follow one another with ease. If the poem is to have a correct meter, the meter should be a constant, unless there is good reason to " change step"
The recommended meter is the IAMB, which sounds very like normal speech. In other words the emphasis should be De DAH De DAH De DAH
Iambic pentameter is the name given to a line of verse that consists of five iambs (an iamb being one unstressed syllable followed by one stressed, such as " before" ;) . It has been a fundamental building block of poetry in English, used in many poems by many poets from the English Renaissance to the present day.

Having established the rhythm, the rhyme can be addressed as a separate issue. Beware of repeating rhyming words ad nauseum. First find a rhyme scheme. The most common is usually A. B. A. B. As an example, here's a sonnet I'm working on.

Once Sonnet Fever takes you to her bed...................A
your every thought becomes expressed in rhyme......B
You're in her grasp and cannot break the thread........A
which binds you to a mellow metered time.................B

If you intend to try these suggestions out and you find it difficult to find the rhyme then omit the rhyme on Ls 1 and 3 and concentrate on Ls 2 and 4.
Once you find a rhyme scheme, stick with it throughout your poem. Good Luck, and I'm always happy to help if you need me.

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  • Rookie - 176 Points metamorphhh (aka jim crawford) (1/22/2014 9:08:00 AM) Post reply | Read 1 reply

    Good advice, especially for beginners. Since it was my ex wife's birthday yesterday, I'll offer this:

    We thought we'd last forever, didn't we?
    We bragged about our love to all our friends-
    the fairy tale that never, ever ends.
    But then, below our radar, by degree,

    we stopped sitting together on the couch.
    One went to bed, the other stayed up late.
    Our passion turned to boredom, then to hate,
    and, at the last, nothing was left but...ouch!

    But time has passed, and in the aftermath
    we've learned to let things go, and let things be.
    I can't change you, you surely can't change me;
    but we can share a sandwich, hold the wrath.

    My memories of you are good and bad,
    but you're the only wife I ever had.

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    • Donna Chlimon (2/4/2014 9:04:00 PM) Post reply

      I genuinely love this! ! Very touching in a funny/deep way! Love it.

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