Wednesday, 3 February 2010

Salutations to rhyming poetry

I have been having fun facilitating a Creative Writing Group: 'Pen Men'.
To that end, I've been boning up on poetry, although most in my group are interested in publishing a book.

Words to Rhyme with: A Rhyming Dictionary
For myself, I found this wonderful tome:

Words to Rhyme with: A Rhyming Dictionary

(3rd ed., 2006). Checkmark Books.
A 100-page primer gives readers the essentials of poetic technique, many of which I had forgotten.
  • A primer of Prosidy
  • More than 80,000 words that rhyme
  • A glossary defining 9,000 eccentric rhyming words
  • A variety of exemplary verses
  • Words rhyming on the last, the penultimate, and the antepenultimate syllable
Now, I know you can go to:
On-line rhyming links - these are fabulous, but this book is great reading. There are far more rhymes in the book than on line. The original author, William R. Espy (1910 - 1999), wrote a number of terrific witty rhymes that illustrate his points. It has been updated by another (Orin Hargraves- writer and lexicographer), and reprinted.

It includes trademarked words (CheapMart, etc.) common acronyms, abbreviations, biographical and geographical names, common new technological terms (blog, pixel), slang and informal words (lemme, gotcha, shoulda, woulda, couda). The final section features some lovely quotes about poetry.

I'd forgotten all I'd taught about rhyme and meter; stanzas; line metrics; forms of lyric verse; single/double/triple rhymes; random, interior, initial and cross rhymes.

If you like writing poetry, or would like to pick it up, this is the book for you! It's a good remedy for fading brain cells, juggling syllables, words, and vocabulary, to make words and sounds fit, and say exactly what you mean. Poetry is carefully constructed and crafted.

I giggled reading it through. Here are a couple of the author's witty verses...


Haikus show I.Q.'s:
High I.Q.'s try haikus. Low
I.Q.'s--no haikus.

The qualities rare in a bee that we meet
     In an epigram never should fail;
The body should always be little and sweet,
     And a sting should be left in its tail.

THE CLERIHEW - Don Juan at College
Don Juan
Carried on
Till they switched him from Biology
To Abnormal Psychology

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Barrie said...

Very fun. I much prefera thesaurus in the hand than one on the screen. ;)

pattinase (abbott) said...

Although I have tried to write poetry from time to time, never any that rhymed. Interesting.

Sarah Laurence said...

A rhyming dictionary – brilliant idea!

Barrie said...

Had a thought and returned to add it to the comment section: don't you think this is the type of dictionary kids would love?!!!

Jenn Jilks said...

You're so right, Barrie, and I know I bought a couple that are much simpler and geared for kids. I wrote about them here.

Nancy Tapley said...

ah poetry... sustenance of the gods...

the other day upon the stair, I met a man who wasn't there...
he wasn't there again today.
Oh, how I wish he'd go away!!!