I love rhyming. I really do. I’ve even sold rhyming poetry to a few magazines. But that doesn’t mean I always get it right. Many times, I get it VERY wrong.
I usually just write straight from the hip. Much of the poetry I’ve shared on this blog has not been, well, it’s not been my best. (I know, you already figured that out). BUT…if I’m working on poetry that is not just for my personal enjoyment – poetry I am really considering submitting somewhere – I do have some rules, sort of. I’m not saying they are never broken, but that is usually the exception.
- I use perfect/true rhymes as much as possible. Note: slant rhyme, near rhyme, etc, are acceptable and preferred over the “perfect” rhyme by some songwriters. Songwriting is very different than writing poetry, though both are poetic endeavors.
- I don’t use the easy rhyme all the time. ex: Cat/bat/hat. Dr. Seuss did it, but that doesn’t mean I have to. Sometimes I’m lazy – but I try to dig deeper.
- I don’t rely on my ears alone. My crit partners and writing buddies read my work aloud to make sure my poetry is as it should be.
- I focus on my rhythm as much as I do my rhyme. If my rhyme is perfect, but my rhythm is off, my poem is not ready for publication. My poetry should flow easily. Natural rhythm and natural accents are essential.
Not necessarily rules, but still good stuff I try to do:
- I read good poetry. I read bad poetry. Why? In order to help me recognize the difference in my own work.
- I critique work from other poets. It is amazing how critiquing other poetry helps me in my own work!
- I pray. Seriously, I do. I ask God to help me. And He does! 🙂
- Do you follow a similar set of rules when rhyming?
Do you have a more strict set of rules for rhyming?
Or are you a rule-breaking, rhyming rebel?
What works for you?