Whether you pen poetry or picture books or anything in between, understanding rhyme helps you write better. If you can get a good grasp of meter and beat and rhythm in your writing–whether you actually rhyme or not–your words will sing on the page.
But most of us fools just rush in where angels (and very experienced writers) fear to tread. That is to say, we write a rhyming poem or story and think, “Wheee! I’m brilliant!”
Sometimes, we are. Most of the time, we are not. And this is the royal “we” I’m using as I’m including my high-falootin’ self in this group. Honestly, I’ve always loved poetry. I loved poetry when I was just a wee, little child (A CHILD’S GARDEN OF VERSES was one of my favorite books!) and I read books of poetry through my elementary school years, to high school, to college and beyond. I have a book three inches thick of favorite poetry I’ve copied down that I still thumb through (and it includes my own poetry as well. Um…I skip those dreadful verses).
The point is, friends, loving verse and understanding how verse works is not the same. So if you’re way past your schooling years and those boring classes where you had to read poetry and mark scansion and such (which you totally never really got, anyway), you might be ready to look at poetry again and perhaps fall in love with verse (and improve your own). Here’s a good place to start: For Better For Verse.
And then you’ll be ready in April when RhyPiBoMo comes around.
Or maybe just ready to take a second look at that poem you wrote and thought was brilliant. You know, before you actually send it out into the world.
Seems like my poetry could always use some help…I remember a time when my motto was, “If it doesn’t rhyme, it’s not poetry.” Hahahaa! And then there was the time I dedicated a book of poetry to my mom and she didn’t want it. 🙂 Sooooo, thanks for the tips on how to make it better!
Oh my gosh…..RhyPiBoMo?? Wow, I like the sound those initials make! Much better than NANOWRIMO!
(and I must confess….when I first heard the Nano term, I thought it had something to do with writing in Missouri….you know…..WRI MO !!) The honest to goodness truth!
I hardly ever rhyme in poetry (unless it’s a prankish poem or a limerick ;). I’ve tried to write a sonnet once, but it’s still unfinished, so I guess I suck at meter. But when I DO rhyme, I depend heavily on my rhyming dictionary.
I wouldn’t leave the unrhyming world without it…
I love rhyming children’s story… and have one of my own. A “real” poet told me how hard it was to get my rhyming the way it was (’cause I no nothing of the rules of rhyme, etc.) and so I was quite happy for his kind words.