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LEARN NOT TO RHYME BEFORE YOU RHYME

Put candidly, I think every poet who wants to write rhyming poems needs first to learn how to write without rhymes.

First step for a poet hoping to pen good rhymes is to develop his/her power of metaphor and imagery creation — appealing to all the senses of the reader.

The danger of failing to take that first step is that you’ll write many poems whose beauty only ends at end of the lines, just the rhyming sound.

Omolola, I am here to say I love you
Do not doubt me, I swear I really do
Because you are my one and only
And with you alone I want to be

A good poem you might say, after all, it has good rhymes, but we could achieve the same message with better imagery and better overall appeal (and even better rhymes).

Rhyming is a device that adds beauty to a poem, but when you chase it alone, you lose some of the beauty that other poetic devices can give your poem.

*The stanza above has no imagery, no metaphor, just you/do and only/be

Omolola, this day I undress my love for you
with the moon and stars as silent witness
my soul trembles …my soul kneels too
take my heart! take me, my princess

Beyond rhymes, what many people write as poems are just watery stanzas which are mostly wedged with rhymes that are mere clichés.

“It’s not always about rhyme. Convey meaning, paint a picture, create the imagery to illustrate the fact that you can take your audience miles away from …stop them from being them and give them a chance to be you

Do so without preamble.. Do so with finesse. So that maybe, just maybe, they will come to your work again and again, for that trip. That escape.

— Henry Nwokobia

So, to rhyme well, work on your imagery, read unrhymed poems, write unrhymed poems and get deep into the use of metaphors —and other poetic devices.

Then you will have very good rhymed-poems.

Author: Kukogho Iruesiri Samson

KIS, author of two poetry collections, ‘WHAT CAN WORDS DO?’ and ‘I SAID THESE WORDS’, is an award-winning Nigerian writer, photographer, and media professional with experience in journalism, PR, publishing and media management. In 2016, he was listed in Nigerian Writers Awards’ list of 100 MOST INFLUENTIAL NIGERIAN WRITERS UNDER 40. The same year 2016, he won the Nigerian Writer’s Award for ‘Best Poet In Nigeria 2015.’ he had also won the Orange Crush 1st Prize for Poetry in 2012.
He is the CEO of Words Rhymes & Rhythm LTD.

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