Posted on September 17th, 2012 by pajamapress
1. Don’t invert syntax for the sake of making a rhyme.
Unnatural phrases, don’t you see,
The end result of this must be!
2. Don’t add “do” before a verb to make the meter fit.
This error many folks do make.
It’s more than my poor ears can take.
3. Don’t strain the pronunciation of a word to make it rhyme. It must rhyme naturally from the last stressed syllable on.
It may look right, but I aver
The stress is inverted on answer.
4. Do have a story arc.
“The sun rose. It was lovely.” Well!
Do you have nothing more to tell?
5. Do avoid trite rhymes.
Breeze, trees. Dove, love. Sigh, cry. Go, fro. Night, tight. Song, along. Need I go on (and on, and on)?
6. Do use internal rhyme, alliteration, and word play.
When you tickle the fancy and trip the tongue
It’s gear-turning, language-learning, wiggly, giggly fun!
7. Do use contemporary language, situations, and characters.
Perhaps in Queen Victoria’s reign
Their language was delightful,
But oh! to pen such words today
Is absolutely frightful.
Yes, carriages and pocketbooks
And parasols are grand,
But if you’d win your audience,
Examine what’s at hand.
If you ever want your book
To make it off the shelf,
The child who reads your poetry
Must recognize herself.