Apparently, writing rhyming poetry is extremely passe and if you write poems that rhyme you’re basically Ronald Macdonald with a pen. No forget about John Betjemen and Anne Sexton and William Shakespeare, they’re all dead. Shut up, Simon Armitage and Carol Ann Duffy are… shut up. If your poetry rhymes, why don’t you just admit that you’re a *dirty word* children’s author or something, frittering away your meaningless hours writing Please Mrs Butler doggerel, rhyme is stupid.
So I tried, with today’s poetry prompt, to avoid rhyme. Not actually for the reasons above but because I realise I might rely on it a little as a crutch and it may be masking other failings. And also, I guess, because you should try and be open minded in life.
The poetry prompt I picked today was:
A poem of four quatrains that contain no adjectives, no adverbs, no similes, and the word “wren.’ Alternating lines of eight and ten syllables.
Ok, four quatrains, check.Alternating lines of 8 and 10 syllables, check. The word wren? No, it felt crowbarred (wrenbarred?) in. I managed no adverbs or adjectives or similes until the final quatrain, at which point I broke all the rules and RHYMED TOO, YEAH SO WHAT.
This is a poem about my granddad, the tone of which is probably a little discordant with the tone of this intro.
I go to see her now and then
to have the kettle on by six pm
to share an hour in chattering
presided over by the mantle clock
which forms a timeline that reaches
back in quarter hours chimed since I was small
when Nana heard and walked and laughed
and my Granddad’s presence still warmed the house.
Sooner or later, he comes up.
‘When we went to bed that night, he was fine!
He woke up. Arm ache. Ambulance.
Touched his hand. Bye love. That was it! The end!.’
I quietly admire the truth:
my granddad’s departure was smoothly done.
He spent no time waiting for death,
but went to bed still living; woke up gone.