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No More Rhyming, and I Mean It!: Some thoughts about rhyming in poetry, and how order of lines can drastically improve a poem.
Posted by Rabbit Stu, Feb 9, 2008. 4061 views. ID = 576

No More Rhyming, and I Mean It!

Posted by Rabbit Stu, Feb 9, 2008. 4061 views. ID = 576
This post was written in 14 minutes.
This post has been awarded 26 stars by 7 readers.

This post isn't a poem. For once. It's also not fiction. It's some thoughts on rhyming, which really ought to go in a discussion forum. But we don't have a discussion forum. Yet.

I'm trying to make Doug feel loads of guilt,
Because he hasn't yet got that forum built.

Of course, that little two line poem could be written in a different way, like this:

Doug hasn't yet got that forum built,
So I'm trying to make him feel loads of guilt.

Which of the two do you think is better? In my mind, there's no question which is better: the first one, I think, is far superior to the second.

Why? Because the first one sounds like the two rhyming words (guilt and built) belong together. The second one sounds like I was desperate to find a word that rhymes with built.

I started out with the word "built" - I knew my little poem was going to be about Doug getting the forum built. So, having that word in mind, I started casting about for a word that rhymes with "built", and immediately came up with "guilt".

An obvious pair, which can easily be put together in a sensible way.

My first thought was about "built", not "guilt", and since the main thrust of the poem is about building, and not about guilt, my natural tendency is to put the BUILT line first.

But when I do that, the rhyme sounds forced. It sounds like I was trying too hard to make things rhyme. Of course, if I put "built" in the second line, since that's the "stronger" of the two rhyming words, there's nothing forced about it.

So I look at the couplet again and try to see if I can rearrange the order of the words to make my stronger word and stronger idea fit the second line.

It's sort of a backwards way of doing things, since the line with the stronger idea is the one that I thought of first, but it works well for me to try to swap it to last place. I think it makes my poems flow much better.

Of course, once in awhile the "tacked on" rhyme can be used for great comedic effect...

Anybody want a peanut?

Copyright 2008 Rabbit Stu. All rights reserved. has been granted non-exclusive rights to display this work. For permission to reprint this item, please contact the author.

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Feb 9, 2008
   ~Posted by Mathax, Feb 9, 2008

Josiah T.
Feb 9, 2008
You oughta do a poetry class once Doug gets the forum built! :-)
   ~Posted by Josiah T., Feb 9, 2008

Rabbit Stu
Feb 9, 2008
hee! hee! naw...just because I know something about poetry doesn't mean I know enough to do a class on it.
   ~Posted by Rabbit Stu, Feb 9, 2008

Michael K
Feb 9, 2008
You're right...your method is much better.
That's why I'm writing you this letter.


Dear Rabbit, I'm writing this little letter
To say I think your method is much better.

Yep. I think I'll heed your fine advice,
Though I rarely listen to rabbits, cats, and mice.


Though I rarely listen to rabbits, cats and mice,
I will most definitely heed your advice!

Okay, I'm done now.
So don't have a cow.

   ~Posted by Michael K, Feb 9, 2008

Feb 9, 2008
Maybe you mean

   ~Posted by Milton, Feb 9, 2008

Feb 12, 2008
I think that someone has to much time on their hands. Anyone agree?
   ~Posted by Mathax, Feb 12, 2008

Rabbit Stu
Feb 13, 2008
Well, I'm sorry you feel that way, but actually, this post was intended to be helpful, and I don't really see that as a waste of time.
   ~Posted by Rabbit Stu, Feb 13, 2008

Feb 14, 2008
lol. Yeah, that was pretty funny. :-)

*pretends to scold* But really! Shame on you Rabbit for giving Doug such a hard time and trying to make him feel guilty. ;-)
   ~Posted by Katie, Feb 14, 2008

Josiah T.
Feb 14, 2008
"Anyone agree?"

   ~Posted by Josiah T., Feb 14, 2008

Rabbit Stu
Feb 14, 2008
Ya know, I was thinking about this, and thought, we should have a name for it when we have rhymes that sound forced...

I think we should call it the "Wanna Peanut Syndrome". :)
   ~Posted by Rabbit Stu, Feb 14, 2008

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