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Is there still a market for rhyming poetry?

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There seems to be a distinct trend in poetry these days to shun rhyme. This seems to happen from the critics’ side rather than the writers’. Being a poet myself who more often than not writes in rhyme, I find this fashion rather frustrating and I know I’m not alone in this. Following a blog on the internet, some publishers militantly state “no rhyming poetry here” putting all that rhymes in the same bag as cheesy greeting card verse. I have enjoyed interest in my  poetry at open mic events and also in response to my website; however, poetry competitions and publishers appear to strongly favour prose poems these days.

Rhyme might not be the flavour of the month but why be so snobbish about it? After all, a lot of famous poets of the past wrote in rhyme and a good rhyme and meter was part of the art. Not that I have anything against non-rhyming verse but to me the occasional one reads more like a short story that was put into an oblong frame and shaken until its shape resembled that of a poem.

So-called amateur poetry is always a good source for clumsy rhyme. Only in a five-year-old might such lines be an indication of talent:

Squirrels and bears come running to our car,
For yummy snacks, they’ll travel very far,


The following goes to prove that even great poets have their bad rhyme days. Lord  Byron’s rather curious excuse when writing ‘Don Juan’ was this:”The rhyme obliges me to this; sometimes. Monarchs are less imperative than rhymes”:

Brave men were living before Agamemnon

And since, exceeding valorous and sage,


But can't find any in the present age

Fit for my poem (that is, for my new one);

So, as I said, I'll take my friend Don Juan.

To prove, neither rhyme nor love poems have to be cheesy: Entertaining and memorable -

from ‘I Married a Monster from Outer Space’ by performance poet J.C.Clarke:


I fell in love with an alien being

whose skin was jelly - whose teeth were green

she had the big bug eyes and the death-ray glare

feet like water wings - purple hair


In a cybernetic fit of rage

she pissed off to another age

she lives in 1999

with her new boyfriend - a blob of slime


This is my personal favourite with its dark, obsessive rhyme.

From ‘Annabel Lee’, by E.A.Poe:


It was many and many a year ago,
In a kingdom by the sea,


That the wind came out of the cloud by night,
Chilling and killing my Annabel Lee.


In the sepulchre there by the sea,
In her tomb by the sounding sea..

There is another interesting fact I have come across whilst researching this phenomenon. According to medical research, rhyme is associated with manic depression. Evidence suggests that the manic disposition has a natural inclination towards rhyme. Manic depression is therefore particularly common in poets and lyricists and that’s why I say:   

It’s time to destigmatise rhyme!

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