It ain’t worth a dime if it ain’t got that rhyme | April 19, 2021
I like my bacon crispy, my coffee hot, and my poetry in rhyme. I will never understand anyone preferring chewy, limp bacon over the kind you can snap in your fingers and crunch with your teeth. Nor do I have any sort of appreciation for the crowd allowing Starbucks to sell them on the notion that coffee is just as well iced as hot. They are not right in the head.
Furthermore, just because you take prose and break it into pieces, putting one word on a line by itself, followed by a consciousness stream on the next line and three words on the line after that, jerking the reader about like they are the unfortunate victim of a rickety old wooden roller coaster, bruising ribs and raising eyebrows, that does not make it poetry.
OK, I get it. Not all poetry rhymes. I do love Robert Frost’s “Birches.” Still, I contend it is a story broken up to look like a poem, not actually a poem. It has no rhyme or rhythm. Poetry puts the art in Language Arts.
You can have your coffee shop poets with their disheveled clothes, unruly hair, and coffee bean breath. You can have their anger and angst, their laborious meandering through a wilderness of words in search of enlightenment…or applause…or an iced coffee on the house.
Give me Rudyard Kipling’s “If” as a prime example of the beauty and indelible mind stamp of poetry.
Or Lord Byron’s “She Walks in Beauty”…
When you can take so much meaning and lend it cadence, rhythm, and rhyme, that’s poetry, man. That’s art. That’s real. That’s real good.
I first stumbled onto the satisfying stimulation of rhyming words when I was four years old. I would throw couplets at my invisible friends, Big Ricky and Little Ricky, all the live-long day and they approved.
My Dad would sometimes overhear our conversation and say, “Boy, you are a poet and didn’t know it, but your feet show it.” Whereupon, my quizzical gaze would evict the punchline, “Because your feet are Long, fellow.”
Well, my feet weren’t long and I had no idea what he was talking about until I discovered Henry Wadsworth and remembered Dad and his smirk.
Oh, Henry! The great American poet whose haunting poetry included “Haunted Houses.”
I am a writer because I write. When I write, I mostly write prose. I pontificate and prattle on about this or that. I spin tall tales and sometimes tell the truth. I write stories. I write commentary. I even write the occasional sermon or devotional. But when I am really feeling it, I write poetry. If I like what I wrote, I put it here. Check it out.
Be warned! Most of it rhymes because “I do like green eggs and ham. I do like them, Sam I Am.” I say most of it rhymes because I like to break rules, even if they belong to me. Especially then.