To play at rhyming can become a strain,
Especially in English where rhyming is a pain.
How easily a poet can be vexed
When seeking out which rhyming word comes next.
Most often, I prefer to be exact
When fitting end-rhyme in poetic tract,
But often with such simple words as "beauty",
The only thing which comes to mind is "fluty".
And what about a tricky word like "anguish"?
To find a perfect rhyming is a vain wish.
And how about a name like "Henry Michael"?
Yes, tell me of a rhyme for "Henry Michael"!
And why is it such fateful words as "death"
Only have such feeble rhymes as "breath",
Or Liz, or Mac or any other Beth?
All general woes of rhyming laid aside,
Some stanza forms are simpler to abide.
Couplets aren't too bad as verse-form goes
Because the next line forms a couplet's close.
AABB quatrains are the same
As couplets and are therefore rather tame
Compared with the forms which soon I will explain,
Which have a tendency to wrack the brain.
ABCB quatrains can be managed
If the second and fourth lines are well-fit.
The first and third can go their merry way
Thus lightening the burden just a bit.
ABAB quatrains can be hard;
To weave their intertwined rhyming can be tough.
Thus meaning and diction often become marred,
And so render the stanza coarse and rough.
One thing which really truly baffles me
Are poets like Byron and Coleridge who oft write
In forms like ABABABCC!
I try it, and I find that I'm not quite
Equal to the grim monstrosity
Of this task of true poetic might.
I can't imagine how it is they stage
This kind of feat for page after page!
But rhyming sure is fun and it's rewarding,
For rhyming renders music in the wording
Which resonates beyond the bounds of prose,
To strike the ear with swift, enticing blows.
George Chadderdon © 1993