By: Sam Lundy
Rhyming is something that we all have admired since the first time we heard “Hickory Dickory Dock.” We all grew up listening to nursery rhymes and reading Dr. Seuss. Many people assume that poems must rhyme, when that is so far from the truth. Poems have evolved so much farther than the traditional poems we all read in our high school literature classics. Yes, Whitman, Frost, and Dickens are all great and we all love reading their works. But modern poetry doesn’t really have rhymes unless it is purposeful. If you are writing form poetry than yes it may make since for you to have rhyming couplets. But, if you are someone who likes free form poetry it doesn’t make much sense for you to make every other line rhyme. The main problem with rhyming is the distraction it creates. If rhyme isn’t used correctly that the rhyme will distract from the rest of the poem. When you use rhyme, they don’t always have to be exact rhymes, there is internal rhyme, which has an excellent quality when read aloud. If you are someone who likes to rhyme in their poetry, I advise that you be cautious to avoid that sing-song nursery rhyme quality that can steamroll a poem. You could avoid this by always reading your poem out loud or let your poem be workshopped. You don’t have to sound like Dr. Seuss to be successful, just have insightful and original work.