WRITING LYRICAL RHYMING POETRY By Robert Hewett Sr.
Writing Lyrical poetry can be very easy. There are some simple rules for basic lyrical rhyming poetry that are not necessarily classroom rules. Just practical guidelines to help the untrained writer make their poetry flow with rhythm and good imagery. If you are looking for classical Lyrical writers you need look no further than Henry Wadsworth Longfellow or Emily Dickinson.
Longfellow wrote lengthy poems that told stories. One of his poems about the Village Blacksmith epitomizes lyrical story telling. Most of us probably remember the opening line "Under the spreading Chestnut Tree the Village Smithy stands". Here Longellow has given us the subject of his poem, where it is located, the size of the town, and brought in Nature with the Chestnut Tree. How many of you know what else he tells about the Village Blacksmith. Read the entire poem and you will find out a lot about the Blacksmith, his family, his church and the people he interacts with. Longfellow has told us an interesting story in poetic form. Telling a story is a key ingredient in most lyrical poems. You might be just describing a scene like the gentle waves on the beach bathed in soft moonlight, but you are telling a story.
Now for a few simple rules to help you write lyrical rhyming poetry.
1. Each line should contain the same number of syllables
2. The ending word of each line should rhyme with the ending word in the next line
(There are many forms of rhyming structure, I am just giveing you a basic one)
3. Each word should lead logically to the next word i. e. "Under the spreading Chestnut Tree"
4. No rhymes should be forced i.e. the preceeding words should lead naturally into the rhyming word. i. e.
"For cream in my coffee, I use Cremora
"Said the man wearing an old Fedora.
5. Use words that create a piture like image of your story. Remember writing is art, just as much as painting, so with the right words you paint a picture in the readers' mind.
6. Let your poem set for a few hours and then edit it as though you are a third party reading it for the first time. If you have someone else read your your poem ask them to comment on both the writing factors, like punctruation, spelling, capitalization and on the content. Does it flow in the readers mind so that one line encourages the reader to look at the next one. Disjointed lines and verses characterized by phrases that don't fit, gross typos or frequent mispelled words can turn a reader off.
Here is a simple exercise for you, a lyrical rhyming poem that is not perfect. Pick any paragraph and rewrite it in your words to make it flow better, have more feeling, better imagery, and choice of words. I look forward to reading your efforts and I will answer each one.
THERE’S A SONG IN MY HEART
In my heart there’s a song that I must sing,
about love that blossomed in early Spring.
Like flowers opening after fresh rain,
It filled my heart with a lover’s refrain.
I run, I dream, I laugh, I sing and dance.
The song in my heart has me in a trance.
The birds are singing my love songs for me.
I join them as they go from tree to tree.
Where will this love go I cannot now say,
Maybe forever or for just a day.
The future is not in my frame of mind.
My song has only thoughts of ties that bind.
Carried on Spring breezes, the moon and sun
I bask in love’s blushing radiant fun.
For all who will listen, this thought I bring.
In my heart there’s a song that I must sing.
Good luck, now write. If you prefer to submit an original verse, that is okay too.
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