RhyPiBoMo 2015 Day4
Photo by Laurie Gaboardi/The Litchfield County Times.
As I was creating my wish list of bloggers for this year one name sat right at the top. She is an author and an outstanding poet who has written over 100 books and has even created her own form of poetry. This writing community is always so supportive of new writers and I am thankful for all the wonderful authors and poets who agree to participate in RhyPiBoMo!
It is my honor to introduce,
* Photo by Laurie Gaboardi/The Litchfield County Times.
TO RHYME OR NOT TO RHYME
by Marilyn Singer
One evening at dinner, a group of friends and I were trying to define poetry. We were not attempting to define GOOD poetry—just what is a poem at all. We all agreed on one thing: if it rhymes, then it’s a poem. It may be a totally lousy one, but it’s a poem.
We also agreed that a poem doesn’t HAVE to rhyme. But then we got onto shaky ground re: free verse. I don’t think we reached any consensus. I recounted a story that took place when I was in first grade or so and I’d recently started writing poetry, all of which rhymed. My teacher suggested that I try my hand at free verse. So I did—and I ended up writing a prose paragraph about roller skating. It was not a poem by any stretch of the imagination, and I’m certain that, had they read it, my dinner companions would have agreed.
So we know when something is a paragraph, right, and not a poem, right? But what if you take the same words and break them up into short lines? What if you remove the punctuation? And if you throw in a metaphor or two, what then? Come to think of it, what if you throw in a metaphor or two into what is clearly a paragraph? Is it still prose? These are the questions that keep me up at night. Well, not really. But they do enliven dinner parties (depending on your guests).
Here’s the thing: when it comes to children’s poetry, most people don’t think about paragraphs or free verse at all. They think about rhyme. So, I thought it might be fun to put together a list of “Myths about Rhyme” and tackle these thornier questions about what is a poem some other time (preferably way in the future).
MYTHS ABOUT RHYME
1. Rhyme is easy to write.
2. All kids’ poetry must rhyme.
3. Rhyme is only for children. (See “Spring and Fall to a Young Child” by Gerard Manley Hopkins)
4. Publishers like rhyme. (They don’t unless it’s good)
5. Publishers hate rhyme. (They don’t unless it’s bad)
6. Nonsense words make for successful rhyming poems or picture books. Unless you’re Lewis Carroll or Dr. Seuss, not likely.
7. Rhyme will make an old idea fresh. No way, José.
8. The only good rhyme is an end rhyme.
9. Rhyme is only for light verse. (See another Hopkins–Lee Bennett)
10. Only certain subjects are fit for poetry, period. And rhyme is only fit for certain subjects.
11. Great poets always write great poems. (See the Emily Dickinson piece below)
12. Rhyme is passé.
So when should you choose to use rhyme? That’s a hard question to answer, but I’d say when you hear it in your head, when the poem insists upon it, when it makes sense in music and meaning. When is rhyme something you shouldn’t choose? Well, the myths above should give you some clues and tell you when rhyme is something to lose.
SPRING AND FALL TO A YOUNG CHILD
Gerard Manley Hopkins
Márgarét, are you gríeving
Over Goldengrove unleaving?
Leáves, líke the things of man, you
With your fresh thoughts care for, can you?
Ah! ás the heart grows older
It will come to such sights colder
By and by, nor spare a sigh
Though worlds of wanwood leafmeal lie;
And yet you wíll weep and know why.
Now no matter, child, the name:
Sórrow’s spríngs áre the same.
Nor mouth had, no nor mind, expressed
What heart heard of, ghost guessed:
It ís the blight man was born for,
It is Margaret you mourn for.
From Been to Yesterdays (Wordsong/Boyds Mills)©1995 by Lee Bennett Hopkins:
Mama’s money’s spent.
I don’t have
enough to make
our monthly rent.
that Daddy said
was never sent.”
at empty boxes
and I know
your whole life
a teddy bear,
old door keys,
Stowed in cardboard
in paper chests
when you need them most
to move you on–
when we must take
in the middle
of a wrinkled,
In the “Oy, Vey” category: IF I CAN STOP ONE HEART FROM BREAKING
If I can stop one heart from breaking,
I shall not live in vain
If I can ease one life the aching,
Or cool one pain,
Or help one fainting robin
Unto his nest again,
I shall not live in vain.
Winner of the 2015 NCTE Award for Excellence in Poetry, Marilyn Singer is the author of over one hundred books, many of which are poetry collections, including Mirror Mirror (Dutton), for which she created the “reverso” form. Her latest poetry books are: Rutherford B., Who Was He?: Poems about Our Presidents (Disney-Hyperion); Follow Follow: A Book of Reversos (Dial); A Strange Place to Call Home (Chronicle); and The Superheroes Employment Agency (Clarion). Her third book of reversos, Echo Echo, will be published next year by Dial.
Thank you so much Marilyn!
RhyPiBoMo 2015 Optional Writing Prompt:4
This is NOT part of the pledge. It is an option for a writing exercise for those interested. You will not publically share this as part of RhyPiBoMo but may keep a journal of your writing this month for your own review.
Today’s writing prompt is to write a rhyming poem about a somber subject. Use rhyme as the ending lines as well as internally.
Wearing a smile while feeling so sad,
Refusing, not choosing to cry.
Leaving while grieving a moment in time,
Beguiling, still smiling, but why?
Feelings are hidden, forbidden to show.
Strength, divine armor to shine. (shine rhymes with divine and sign)
And just when you feel the real heart of the beast,
Weary teardrops fall down as a sign.
© 2015 Angie Karcher
Week 1 Prize Winners
Mon Kirsti Call Won a copy of BEAR’S LOOSE TOOTH Donated by Dawn Young
Tues Maria Bostian Won a copy of SUPERWORM Donated by Dawn Young
Wed Melanie Ellsworth Won a copy of TEENY TINY TRUCKS Donated by Tim McCanna
Thurs Lori Laniewski Won a copy of an Autographed Book Donated by Nikki Grimes
Fri Darshana Khiani Won a copy of WORD BUILDER Donated by Ann Whitford Paul
“Friday Favorites” Winner – Elaine Hillson Won a Rhyming Manuscript Critique Donated by Angie Karcher (after April – 500 words or less) Elaine, please contact me in May. Congrats!
Congratulations to the week 1 winners!
Thank you to our generous prize donors!
Winners, PLEASE message me your address on Facebook
or email it to Angiekarcherrpbm@gmail.com
Golden Quill Poetry Contest
The Golden Quill Poetry Contest will accept entries STARTING April 13th and the deadline is April 25th midnight Central Time.
First and Last name included in the body of the email at the top left
Email address included in the body of the email at the top left
Phone number – top left
Space down 5 spaces
The Theme is: Freedom
Title of poem – centered with no by line or name here
8 line limit
Must be a rhyming poem
You will be judged on clever title, rhyme scheme, rhythm, scansion, perfect rhyming words, internal rhyme, alliteration, consonance, assonance, onomatopoeia, and clever ending.
Poems due to Angiekarcherrpbm@gmail by April 25th midnight central time
First and Last Name
*Any poem that strays from this format will be disqualified.
Add both your FIRST and LAST names to your daily comment! This is what enables you to be eligible for a prize that day. Many people are forgetting!! I request this because the reply section doesn’t give me your name unless it’s a part of your email address. And even then sometimes it’s very hard for me to figure out the exact name.
How I choose daily winners…Late each Saturday night, I will go back to Monday’s comments and count how many there are. I then type that number into a randomizer program that choose a number for me. I count from the first post down to that number and that is the daily winner. If that post doesn’t have a first and last name listed it will not win. I will then go to the next post that has a first and last name listed. I will do this for each day of the week and announce the winners on the following Monday.
Please DO NOT go back now and add another comment now as I need each person to only comment one time to keep things fair. Thanks!
Good Luck and ADD YOR FIRST and LAST NAME to your comment!!!! = )
More information coming soon concerning
Rhyming Critique Groups and
the Barnes and Noble BookFair
Official RhyPiBoMo 2015 Registration ends this Wednesday, April 8th, Midnight Central Time
so register now!
If you are not officially registered you will not be able to participate in the Golden Quill Poetry Contest, in Rhyming Critique Groups or will not be eligible for daily prizes.
To see if you are registered go to the Master Registration List on the drop down menu under the RhyPiBoMo Blog tab above.
88 thoughts on “RhyPiBoMo 2015 Day 4 Marilyn Singer”
Thank you, Marilyn. Love the list and the poems you included. Lovely!
A poem is something hard to define but easy to recognize by the feeling it evokes in meter and sometimes rhyme. That may be a myth but it’s the best I can do. Thanks for a thought provoking article. Gail Cartee
Joanne Sher loves the myths – AND the poetry. Great lesson! Thanks!
Thanks for the great post, especially the list of myths!
Thanks for dispelling those myths, Marilyn.
Great list and thanks for the poems.
Ginger Weddle – Wonderful post! Thank you!
This was a great post. I loved having all the examples. Thank you Marilyn!
Thanks for an interesting post. I must say that the Lee Bennett Hopkins poem made me sad. It’s amazing how poetry can evoke such strong emotions!
Thanks for a thought-provoking post, Marilyn. That’s certainly a question to enliven dinner conversation. I once had a student who wrote rhyme formatted as prose, without other poetic devices… It certainly made me reconsider my preconceptions!
Nadine Cranenburgh forgot to include her name in her comment above 🙂
Sage advice on poetry. Truly amazing that you began writing in first grade. Thank you for the myths about poetry.
I’m glad to know that more experienced poets than I am grapple with what qualifies as free verse! Lovely thoughts, Marilyn. I especially enjoyed Lee Bennett Hopkins’ poem. Thank you! Sandy Perlic
Thank you all for reading!
Appreciations from Jan Annino/bookseedstudio to Angie Karcher & Marilyn Singer for a thoughtful discussion.
I luv Marilyn’s last name; not only it is poetic in itself but it also reminds me of a creator of most wonderful stories – Isaac Bashevis Singer. I look forward to more of Marilyn Singer’s reverso in Echo, Echo in 2016!
Today’s RhyPiBoMo article calls to mind a poem by Janet Wong, “Coin Drive,” which was written after Hurricane Katrina’s devastation of New Orleans & our Gulf of Mexico coast.
Love the myths and love the RHYME about the myths!!!!
The Lee Bennett Hopkins poem is rich. I particularly liked the evocative ending — the “wrinkled, corrugated night.” Thank you for sharing this!
Melinda Kinsman – Thanks for a great post, Marilyn. I’ve been struggling with working out how to define poetry to young children, and your post has me see that I’m not alone in realising there is no easy answer.
Jill Proctor – Marilyn, thank you for all the great information and examples of rhyme! It was a big help to me!
Susan Schade- Thanks Marilyn! Loved your list of the “myths of rhyme.”
Shirley Johnson – Like the list and enjoyed the poems. Thanks for sharing.
Lynn Alpert – I try to help as many fainting robins as I can! : ) Thanks for letting us see that even Emily Dickinson wrote some stinkers!
Thanks for sharing! At a conference I attended, a publisher declared that rhyming picture books are not out, just the bad ones. Reading your myths made me remember that.
Thank you for including these thoughtful poems and reminding us that a child’s life isn’t always sunshine. Marianne Gage
Maria Bostian: Playing catch up today. I am a few days behind.
Loved this blog post. It got me thinking about serious subject. So far, my poetry tends to be silly.
Thanks for the prize. I’m so excited to receive it in the mail.
Patricia Toht: I sometimes have trouble distinguishing free verse from lyrical writing that is broken up like a poem — I do believe there is a subtle difference. It’s nice to know that, as a pro, you’ve questioned this, too.
Another one of my favorite Mentors — Just adore Marilyn Singer and her books! Lynne Marie Pisano
Great post thank you Marilyn-really enjoyed the example poems you’ve chosen. Caroline Twomey
I have so much to learn! Thanks for the post. Danielle Hammelef
Myths of Rhymes, I love the list ! thank you for reminding me of these
love the post
Thanks Marilyn! Love the post and your books! Even in your prose books such as Tallulah’s Tutu you have such beautiful lyrical language.
Thanks for the great post! Congratulations to all the prize winners! Debbie Smart
Ann Magee. Thanks for these thoughts. Poetry is difficult to define. And these three examples are superb! I love the way poetry makes you think of what’s not written as well as what is.
Karen Nordseth Roos
Marilyn, thank you for the rhyming reality check!
Great post. Love the myths.
Poems come in many forms. Excellent list of myths. Thank you for sharing your love of lyrical language, Marilyn.
Darlene Ivy – I’m late in posting, but I’ve been keeping a journal this month and it’s been fun to see what’s come to mind.