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Updated on September 23, 2012

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.


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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    • ROBERTHEWETTSR profile image

      rOBERT hEWETT SR. 4 years ago from Louisville, Kentucky

      Thanks Ocfireflies. I am a trained instructor first by the military and then by the Federal Civil Service, but I ha never taught in a classroom. Thanks for visiting my page.

    • ocfireflies profile image

      ocfireflies 4 years ago from North Carolina

      I do think your assignment would work well in the classroom. You introduce the topic, provide an example and then an exercise. Have you taught classes before? Thanks for the info.

    • ROBERTHEWETTSR profile image

      rOBERT hEWETT SR. 4 years ago from Louisville, Kentucky

      Thanks rdsparrowiter for visiting my page and leaving a comment. Write me anytime you want to talk about your writing. I love helping others.

    • rdsparrowriter profile image

      rdsparrowriter 4 years ago

      I love the poem :) and thank you for sharing your knowledge. Most of the times, when I write poems, just more like playing around with words and I'm having a difficulty to put them into a category my poem belongs to .. This is useful. Thanks again.

    • ROBERTHEWETTSR profile image

      rOBERT hEWETT SR. 4 years ago from Louisville, Kentucky

      And likewise to you Vocalcoach, I will be back to read for you. I have a poem on my page called I Can't Sing, a true story, more or less, I wish I could have had you as a coach when I was young.

    • vocalcoach profile image

      Audrey Hunt 4 years ago from Nashville Tn.

      Most of my poems consist of rhyming poetry. I like to think I inherited this gift from my Daddy:)

      Rhyming comes easy for me. I love this hub with your instructions for rhyming. I also admire Longfellow. Thank you so much for all you have given here. Voted up, useful, awesome and interesting. I'm passing this along. What a privilege to follow you!

    • ROBERTHEWETTSR profile image

      rOBERT hEWETT SR. 4 years ago from Louisville, Kentucky

      Thanks PDX I will be over to read for you.

    • PDXKaraokeGuy profile image

      Justin W Price 4 years ago from Juneau, Alaska

      Great advice on rhyming poetry. I generally write free verse and I think its hard for folks to write rhyming poetry that doesn't sound forced or cliche. your advice should help those individuals. Well done. Up and shared.

    • ROBERTHEWETTSR profile image

      rOBERT hEWETT SR. 5 years ago from Louisville, Kentucky

      Thanks epigramman I love your comment. I will be over to read for you.

    • epigramman profile image

      epigramman 5 years ago

      Yikes!!!! I don't follow any of these rules - I just march to the beat of my own poetic drummer but I do love your passion and sincerity in this hub presentation and it is always interesting to check out the traditional side of life - I prefer to create a new poetic language and just let my readers think that yes you too can write from your pure heart and the mind will follow and hopefully in the creative process you will come up with a style and a method truly of your own and not out of a stuffy old textbook.

      Sending you warm wishes and good energy from lake erie time ontario canada 6:33am

    • ROBERTHEWETTSR profile image

      rOBERT hEWETT SR. 5 years ago from Louisville, Kentucky

      Thanks Acaetnna, I appreciate your kind comment and support.

    • acaetnna profile image

      acaetnna 5 years ago from Guildford

      Love is always in one's heart and it blossoms to let the whole world kbow. Great work here as always!