A Recommendation To The Bards Of Poetry Corner



Well, Class, today we want to talk about rhymed poetry -- not free-verse poetry; that's for a future lecture.

Some poets forget that in addition to rhymes, poetic lines must also have a recognizable rhythm: the beats and their accents to each line should be regular.

In other words, the "da-da-da-das" are lined up in orderly fashion. The technical term for this is "scanning."

As an example, let's take a limerick by the famous Gila County poet Yogurt Kritch. The success of a limerick lies not only in its rhyming and deep thought, but in its orderly rhythm-scanning. To wit:

A hot-blooded lover from Paytion

Loved a chick from 'round Tonto Baytion

But she loved a swain-

They eloped on a train

And left Goober alone at the staytion.

See? All five lines listen to a poetic drummer. By contrast, let's look at the first limerick Yogurt submitted for publication:

There was a young man from Japan

Whose limericks never would scan

When told about it

He said, "I don't doubt it --

"I always try to get as many words in the last line as I possibly can."

Euuuuk! That's like a squad of Beetle Baileys doing close-order drill! It darn near ended Yogurt's career as a poet.

Well, there you have it: rhyme for sure but also rhythm that scans. Keep those odes and sonnets comin' in folks; we love 'em!

George "Shakespears" Spears, Payson

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