The Compulsion to Repeat Sounds

C. Dale linked to this article, in which a self-professed life-long lover of poetry laments the reduction of poets writing what he calls “rhyming verse.”

It always irritates me when I hear this discussion, not because I think rhyming is lame, but because people are obsessed with repetition when it comes to rhyme. And they want the nursery rhyme meter, too, because it’s soothing.

Am I being overly critical of patterned rhyme? I will admit that it is difficult to do well, but that done well, it’s an interesting (and significant) element of a poem. However, like in free verse, there are hundreds upon thousands of practitioners who do not understand how to incorporate patterned rhyme into their work effectively.

I think it’s also just as egregeous to refuse to look beyond rhymed verse. Any of us who limit our experiences of literature are not being responsible readers.

But then again—is it wrong to thank him for reading in the first place?

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