Why Rhythm and Rhyme?
Why is rhythm and rhyme important? In music, lyrics follow the tempo and melody of the song. But when you are just reading a poem, you lose much of that flavor. Therefore, you’ll want to make your poem interesting to the reader in other ways. That is where rhyme and rhythm come in:
Rhyme and Rhythm: The Rhyme
Rhyming helps tie your words together and makes your lines feel like they really belong. It lets the reader know that your words are intentional, and it just sounds pleasant to the ear. If you’d like a more full definition, I found a great one on the The Poetry Foundation website.
I’m sure we are all familiar with rhyming patterns. But have you tried getting a little creative with them? For example, try a consistent A- B – A -B pattern, an A – A – B – B pattern, or an A – B – B – C – A pattern. In poetry, you are free to do what you like. I just recommend making it intentional, as it will make your poem more pleasant to the reader.
Rhythm and Rhyme – the Rythm
Rhythm can be a little bit more tricky, because it involves not only counting syllables, but also which syllables are emphasized and which are not. But when you pull it off right, it can be really great. If you’d like a more exhaustive definition of Rhythm, please check out this great post from Young Writers.
So, make a rhythm by setting each line to 7, 10, or 12 syllables each. If you want to add a deeper level, give it a dimeter emphasis. That’s where ever second syllable is emphasized. You may even find it more fun challenging yourself in these new ways.
Personally, I prefer to not have each line contain the same amount of syllables. This makes it feel much more natural. However, I do still like to keep a pattern. So I will rotate the amount of syllables. One of my favorite approaches is using 7 – 6 – 7 – 6 syllable lines, with dimeter and an A – B – A – B rhyming pattern. Check it out in my post “Remember that You’re Loved!”
The last tip here is just to change it up! Like adding a chorus or bridge to a song, try adding section to your poem that uses a different rhyme or rhythm. This will keep it fresh to the reader!
Poets, I wanted to end this post with just one special quote. It’s inspired from a movie that I think many of us love and remember: Cool Runnings (1993). . . There is just one thing I want from you all, and that is to. . .
“Feel the rhythm, feel the rhyme. Get on up, it’s poetry time!”
© Joey Blue and thepoetryaboutus.com, 2019, except where noted. All rights reserved.