If you’ve followed this blog for a while, you might have noticed that I tend to write in free verse and I don’t use a lot of rhyme. The main reason for this is that I find rhyme can force poets to try and fit words into poems that simply don’t belong. In some cases it even leads to words being created completely out of the blue (which I don’t have a problem with per-say, but if you’re doing it to fit a rhyme scheme, you’re not doing it for the right reasons).
When I sit down to write a poem I try and hammer the first four lines out and then I let the poem take me where it’s going to take me. Then I go back and find the lines I really like, delete the rest and re-write the poem based on those. Each time I make an edit I read the whole poem aloud before moving on to the next amendment. I do this to make sure the poem sounds right.
I still use rhyme from time to time and I have written quite a few fixed form poems where a rhyming scheme has to be followed, but in my mind, rhyming should come last in the list of things you need for a poem. The top of that list should always be ‘what am I trying to say?’
You can of course write a nonsense poem if you want, but I’ve always found the poems that I like the most are the ones with a background to them. They take you on a journey with the poet.
I’m interested to hear what the other poets on wordpress have to say about this so I’m hoping you’ll voice your opinions below and chime in on the comments others have made.
Tell me, where do you fall when it comes to rhyming and poetry?