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Forced Rhyme Is A Poetic Crime
Blog Posted:9/27/2012 9:27:00 PM
I am an amateur poet. I do not have any illusions
with regards to this reality. I would like to kindly ask the protesters
to take their posters and placards to a different location
other than this blog(such as an innuendo-filled blog of your own,
if you feel that I am yet again going against the grain of decency.
Encouragement is a powerful tool; so is self-evaluation. Thank You.
Hullo, Souper-Doopers(and a few poopers):
When it comes to my own poetry, I am my own worst critic;
I am very, very hard on myself, constantly cutting-up my work.
Now, it isn't difficult to do, either. I am not standing in line
waiting for the Nobel Prize in Literature.
This way of being, occasionally spills into my 'reading filter'
when I read the poetry of others. Hey, it's not a big secret that I
can be pretentious. Wot makes for good or bad poetry is quite
subjective in the end, and who are we really, to judge the poetry
of others, especially when a lot of people pour personal aspects
of themselves into their lines.
So, for the most part, I internalize the critiques; keep them to myself.
Some people are only starting on their poetic journey;
others have been 'starting' for 15 years....
Without offending anyone, I will mention how lately I must have
unintentionally been skipping over the good poems on the Soup,
and coincidentally reading the weaker poems.
Thank goodness I came across a few amazing pieces along the way.
I was becoming a little discouraged.
I know, I know, a large majority of Soupers are here for recreational fun
when it comes to writing.
Trust me, after 2 and 1/2 years here, I get the point.
So sue me....I enjoy making poetry both fun AND serious.
Today, I read someone's brand-new poem, off-site -- wow!
Wot an absolutely astounding piece of art; a perfect blend of mixing
classic discipline with experimentation, giving the poem a well-rounded feel,
including a succinctly perfect placement of words.
The whole point of this blog, is to touch on forced rhyme(a bit).
Why are so many people still forcing rhymes?
Forced rhyme is one of my banes when it comes to reading the
poetry of others.
It truly is a pet peeve of mine.
There are people who argue that all rhyme is forced.
I actually don't quite agree. There are people who might accidentally rhyme;
and there are still others who are so natural at rhyming, it isn't forced.
To claim that all rhyme is forced,
is a philosophical conundrum leaning towards the arguement
that all writing is forced.
I don't believe all writing to be forced.
This is only my opinion.
Forced rhyme has many definitions,
and within the different definitions
there are many sub-categories.
I am going to touch on 3 main types of forced rhyme.
First off, forced rhyme shouldn't be mistaken with slant rhyme/
near rhyme(when slant rhyme is employed purposefully).
Well-written slant rhyme is far above and beyond forced rhyme....
....not even in the same league of poetry.
Here are 3 types of forced rhyme I am going to
slightly touch upon:
1). Positive Forced Rhyme(Wrenched Rhyme):
is when the poet surrenders to the consistency of the sound,
and gives away the sense of the poem by warping the tense of an action(only
as an example)to make it rhyme; even going so far as to alter the construct
of the word itself.
Ogden Nash satirized positive forced rhyme
on several occasions:
"Farewell, Farewell, you old rhinocerous,
I'll stare at something less prepocerous."
(instead of: preposterous)
This is in fact a decent way to play around with forced rhyme,
and isn't really the culprit, when compared to:
"Even though life can be a mess
I will always feel very bless."(instead of: blessed)
*(not Ogden Nash this time....)
2). Negative Forced Rhyme,
is when the core context of a poem is lost,
due to the choice of rhymes(I am only dealing with end-rhymes in this blog).
As the lines of the poem progress,
the congruency of the imagery/theme unravels.
Here is an example from a love poem:
"When I look into your beautiful eyes,
they remind me of swarming flies."
Okay! Not sure about you, but I wouldn't want to be the recipient
of such romantic words.
Swarming flies, and the consequential maggots thereof,
don't parallel beautiful eyes, unless one is writing one of those
sicko love poems, were the flies could possibly be attracted to
the eyes of a corpse?
But negative forced rhyme gets even worse:
"I got back
put it on the rack
or a sack
it's a fact
like a mac attack
Maybe I am missing something? In this horrid example,
as each line progresses to the next, the poem makes less
and less sense....the writer is giving up sense,
in order to maintain the sound of the monorhyme scheme.
Poetry cannot get much worse than the negative forced rhyme
example shown above.
3). There is another type of negative forced rhyme(and one of
the most common types), called, Inversion Forced Rhyme.
This is when the syntax of a line is altered so much,
in order for the end-rhyme scheme to continue,
the line is mutilated far beyond how one internally reads,
or naturally speaks:
"The beer gave me quite a buzz
and so very happy I was!"
Most people would naturally say something similar to:
"I was so very happy!", as opposed to:
"and so very happy I was!"
Hey, maybe some people talk this way, but most likely not
when dealing with a beer buzz....
....possibly during the 16th century when discussing the
hybridization of a tulip.
When a poem has 4, 5, 6 or more examples of Inversion in it,
the poem becomes very tedious to read.
The syntax begins to grate against the natural inner voice
of the reader.
For a writer to progress beyond forced rhyme,
to have the desire to evolve, a writer must make
the decision to stop giving away the sense of a poem,
merely to surrender to the sound.
It is better not to rhyme, than it is to force rhymes.
Wasting rhymes in a forced manner,
is one of the most annoying poetic crimes.
Why not take a little extra time when constructing a poem?
Instead of writing 10 weak poems,
try writing 2 good poems instead?
Just a thought....and only my opinion.
Are there any of you on the Soup
who find forced rhyme as annoying to read, as I do?