Ten Years Learning How To Be A Poet – Part Four: Does Poetry Need To Rhyme? Does Form and Rhyme Make A Poem A Poem?

Does poetry need to rhyme? I’ve touched on this topic before and received quite a bit of feedback from other poets on WordPress, more so than I would normally receive on these style of posts. It’s a conversation that sparks debate in poetry groups of Facebook as well. I notice it cropping up when poets are asked “what piece of feedback have you received and chosen to ignore.”

In secondary school, I started writing poetry and I shared one of my poems with a friend. Her response was limited to ‘it doesn’t rhyme’, and with that she declared it wasn’t really a poem. It was an experience that taught me how black and white opinions around art can be. Something is a poem, or it isn’t, and the criteria to make it so is very specific. In reality, poetry occupies a strange spectrum where the style on one end, is utterly removed from the style at the other. Everything in-between is still poetry.

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Red Lipped Garden #DVersepoets #Quadrille

Despite the hosing,
stems still cling to their cobwebs.
Strands draped between limbs,
threads quivering in a threat to untangle.
Roses grow thirsty again in a moment,
stripped out of their petals
heat caught up on their thorns.
A lessening, in want of more.

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Roses

The Rosebush outside my kitchen window. 

Trickle Down – Working On Writing During Lock-down

At the start of this year I was planning on which poetry events I wanted to go to in order to publicise my new collection ‘It’s All In The Blood‘. I managed a few local ones, and had a slot booked to perform at a Ludlow poetry night, right at the beginning of March. Then 2020 hit its stride in the UK.

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When The Histories Speak Of Revolt

Misfortune comes in sets of threes,

but recently I’ve lost count of the omens

darkening these skies.

 

Understanding is important,

but so is justice, and memory to carry change

past the span of sympathetic anger.

 

All power in this world is man-made,

the bricks still sticky with greased fingerprints.

We were supposed to know better.

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Rain Will Not Be Left Out In The Cold

She brings it in with her,

the rain,

clung to the tip of her nose

and through her hair

so it’s blacker than night.

 

Strips out of her waterproofs

till she has shape.

Colour,

risen high in her cheeks,

on the knuckles of her hands.

 

Reveals the desperation of it,

crept through

zips and openings.

Slid a caress down her neck

till she bears a collar of its touch.

 

Trails it deeper into the kitchen,

Siren kettle

a song to sodden socked feet,

printing a vanishing trail

across the tiles.

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