Playing with Poetry
Last night I started playing with rhyme scheme patterns in writing poetry. In doing so, I was lead to ask myself a question about the harmonious nature of rhyme patterns themselves. Such examples could be A, A, B, A for a quatrain or even simply A, A, A, A. Each of these patterns have a feeling of completeness when said aloud by the reader, and I wonder if that has a beneficial effect on the rhythm of the poem itself.
In other words, is a person more likely to like a poem if it has a harmonious rhyme scheme as opposed to an inharmonious one? To play a little with this idea I set up a series of flawed rhyme schemes and decided to make a few poems to go along with them. My focus, obviously, is in the words used themselves rather than in the rhythm of the poem and I wonder if this takes away from the effectiveness of the poem itself.
What follows is the best result of my venture in the sense that when one is reading it, one will notice an inherent difficulty to get into a particular rhythm of the poem simply because the rhyme scheme is made in such a way to prevent said discourse.
Changing up till it’s the ground
Views the world with change profound
In your mind there is the door
To switch all things around
To seek the feeling more than before
In bewilderment, I’ve drowned
Drifting farther than the shore
Enlightenment I have found
Though to others I make no sound
Like viruses, they spore
About the mysteries they swore
To speak not of the door
Our conversational war
Around me they surround
Words spoken are unbound
My forgiveness they implore
To me they bespeak
To them I critique
Nothing new is found
It’s the process of mental technique
For those of you keeping track, the rhyme scheme of this poem is as follows: A, A, B, A, A, B, A, A, A, B, B, B, B, A, A, B, C, C, A, C. Written all out like that, it seems as though I have compiled a jumbled mess of word salad. But, if you were to break the whole thing down into 4-line stanzas as the poem is meant to be seen, a pattern (if somewhat a chaotic one) begins to emerge. This pattern was chosen entirely for its mathematical value and not at all for its aesthetic value. In fact, I spent time writing the rhyme scheme before I composed a single line of the poem itself. They do say that limitations force creativity…
All of that being said, I am unsure if my experiment was successful or not. After reading the poem to myself several times, I definitely find it difficult to unite the words with rhythm. I do not, however, think that this has taken away from the general message of the poem itself. To me, it seems to read like a disjointed conversation rather than a poem, even though it satisfies the necessary conditions to be considered a poem in the technical sense.
Several people have suggested further resources to me regarding where I can find more information about the effects of a rhyme scheme on peoples’ minds. Including, but not limited to Stephen Fry’s book ‘The Ode Less Traveled.’ A book that I recommend to anyone reading this that doesn’t think they can write poetry. Suffice it to say, you can.
To close this post out, I’d like to give you all a more entertaining poem that follows the classic scheme of a Limerick (A, A, B, B, A), a type of poem generally meant to be humorous and fun. This one came to me late at night while taking a shower:
who wondered why he was alive,
so he sat and he sat,
getting terribly fat,
’till he died at age ninety-five.
Happy writing, everyone…