Everyone loves a good rhyme.  After all, most of us were brought up on rhyming stories and poems and songs and, as children, it was, perhaps, the rhyme itself that made the words memorable.  And I too, love a good rhyme, one that works and entices me from one line to the next, offering this wonderful sound connection to add meaning and rhythm to a poem.  But overdoing rhyme reduces the value, the meaning, and the quality of poem and it becomes something less than poetry.

For example:

She found her way to me

And that’s the way I hoped it would be

She found her way to me

To be, always by my side.

The first example is rhyme for rhymes sake.  The second example, using internal rhyme, is more in keeping with the rules of poetry.  The poem cannot be sacrificed to the rhyme and, unfortunately, it often is.  The words and the way they come together to form thoughts, to evoke feelings, to paint pictures is what makes poetry, poetry.  And if, in the writing of the poem, you find that an end of line rhyme really works, really enhances your poem, then go for it.  But, in general, I would advise you to concentrate on creating beautiful, memorable images, painting word pictures, orchestrating indelible rhythms and letting go of the idea that every line is a time to rhyme.

(Please check this week’s Featured Poem section for a rhyming poem that really works!)

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