Hi everyone. If you have been following my blog for the last month or so you will know that I like to rhyme. Just like if you’ve been friends with me for a while you will know that I have a bit of a sweet tooth. It’s just something you find out about me! But today I tried something different. I tried poetry without rhyming.
It started when a good friend suggested it was time to start making money from my poetry. I have been thinking this for a while since it’s been a tight year. But to hear someone else tell me that my poems are good enough to maybe earn me a bit of pocket money, well lets just say it was what I needed to hear today.
My friend suggested I send my work to a card company called Blue Mountain, who are always looking for new poems and so I looked at their website and it all sounded good until I read that they didn’t take rhyming poetry. Well that was it, I thought. My poetry rhymes. It’s what I do. I cannot write poetry without rhyme. Can I?
When I relayed this to my husband, he simply said that I should write some non rhyming poetry. He believed I have the talent to do it. Something else that meant a lot to me. So I thought, maybe I can do it. No reason why I can’t have a go. I played around a bit in my notebook earlier and while it was harder, it wasn’t impossible so I decided that I’d keep trying.
It was when I was settling Sam, my youngest, that I began composing my first non-rhyming poem in my head. I can credit so much of my poetry to settling Sam at night. Those quiet cuddles in Sam’s darkened room have done wonders for my creativity. So I have Sam to thank for not just closing his eyes and going to sleep! I wouldn’t have missed those cuddles or that time for the world.
By the time I had settled both boys, then gone back in to resettle Sam (little monkey!) I had not one but two poems as good as written. I just needed to get them down and refine them. And I was surprisingly pleased with the outcome.
These poems will never make a greeting card as they are about my two wonderful boys but practice makes perfect. I love writing about the boys. The words always flow and it feels so natural. I have been trying other subjects lately but poems about what I know and love have always been my strength, I feel.
Here is my first poem about my little Sam aged 11 months and a half:
I’ve spent many happy hours with you
Right from when you were tiny
That I missed the first hour of your life
I will always regret
I spent ten hours in labour
From home to the delivery room
That I didn’t see you emerge into the world
I will always feel sad
But you were in danger
They needed to act fast That they did and got you out safely
I will be eternally thankful
The time that we have spent
Laughing, cuddling, playing
I watched as you lifted your head from the floor
I watched as you learned to sit up on your own
I watched you crawl and pull yourself up
All these memories I will treasure forever
And there are more to come
I wanted the poem to have structure. If it didn’t have that then it would be just prose set out as poetry. The structure came quite naturally. Once I had the first verse, I wanted to use the same frame in the second, and then in subsequent verses. Events and shared moments, followed by reflections. I did a similar thing with my next poem. This one is about my eldest son, Kyle. Five in December and going on fifteen at times but he will always be my first little baby. He’s a thoughtful, bright sensitive little boy. I will let the poem tell you the rest:
My first born boy
My little man
Once so little
Now so wise
About the world and what is in it.
Your wisdom is a wonderful gift
Use it wisely
My little boy
Sometimes so quiet
Other times you chat away happily
Never stop talking, my lovely
We will be there to listen
My active boy
My little fidget
So active from so young
From doing your little exercises in your cot
To chasing your baby brother across the floor
Never stop moving
Just slow down from time to time
But keep going son
You’re doing just fine
Again, once I’d set a pattern I stuck to it. Each verse is about a character trait. The first is about his wisdom. He is learning so much and surprises us all with what he tells us. He is learning about the world and has seen quite a bit of it already, including Spain, Venice and Egypt. The second verse is about his two different sides. With people he doesn’t know very well he is withdrawn and quiet but with those who he knows and is comfortable with he is confident, chatty and cheerful. The third verse talks about how active he is. He is a little fidget and can’t stay still for long. He has always been that way, even before he was born! He couldn’t wait to get moving. The last lines of each verse offer some encouragement and remind him to be himself.
I don’t like to brag but I think I was quite successful in trying something new today and reached a level I didn’t think was possible. It just goes to show that if you move out of your comfort zone you can surprise yourself.
I will obviously continue to rhyme but I will continue to look at non rhyming poetry as well. It turns out I may just be able to write that too.
Thanks for reading and special thanks to my friend Symona and to my hubby, Dan for their encouragement and kind words today (and always) regarding my poetry.