Been a busy month. And a tiring one with the youngest settling into his new bed and still being wakeful at night at times. Plus been busy at work the last couple of weeks. Every time I intend to write this blog I end up asleep on the sofa before even making a start! So a very tired working mummy this month.
I have written the odd bit now and then so still active. I will later share with you a little rhyme I wrote about the frustrations of toddler bedtime. But first I want to talk to you about one of the main reasons I write poetry.
It’s a rhyming thing.
As you all know, I do love to rhyme. I wrote about this in my last post and I have no idea if I’m repeating myself so apologies if I am but this time I intend to go into it in more depth.
The fact is rhyme is all around us. In songs, adverts, poems…. the list goes on. Rhymes add colour to our hectic lives. And a certain order too. They are memorable, which is why they are so widely used. The first songs we learn as infants are nursery rhymes and then we learn songs and hymns at school, which are also based around rhyme to make them memorable. And then there’s children’s literature. As children we loved a story written in rhyme, often with a repetitive line/verse. The following two spring to mind
Run run as fast as you can
You can’t catch me, I’m the gingerbread man.
(The Gingerbread Man)
Little pig, little pig let me come in.
No by the hairs on my chinny chin chin
I will not let you in ….
(The Three Little Pigs)
The list goes on and this generation is no different. In fact I still read my children the books containing these rhymes. And now there are new ones too. You will find delightful rhymes in “The Aliens Love Underpants” series, amongst many others. One of my favourites and one very special to me is When the world was waiting for you” by Gillian Sheilds. This was read aloud on Cbeebies when Kyle, our eldest, was a baby and it moved me to tears as it rang so true. It speaks about the anticipation of a birth of a new baby and the delight as a baby is born into a family. Although the illustrations show a family of rabbits, Gillian Sheilds captures the occasion beautifully. I love reading it to the boys.
And then we come to one of my favourite children’s authors. Julia Donaldson. What can I say? the woman is a genius! I love her work. From her little lift the flap series containing books such as Postman Bear and Fox in Socks, to books such as Monkey Puzzle, Room on the Broom and of course,The Gruffalo. I have written the odd narrative poem but I don’t think I could get anywhere near the pure genuis of the Julia Donaldson books. To think of a children’s story is one skill but to bring rhyme to life as she does… I don’t think I could do it! I’m not saying I won’t give it a try one day but I’ll never compete with Julia Donaldson.
I would also like to share with you another artist from a different genre whose rhyming I admire. My husband says he believes I could write a song for him one day and that is something I would love to do aswell. Poetry and song writing go hand in hand and so this rhyming artist is none other than Robbie Williams. When I first started writing poetry I looked to him for inspiration. It was only recently that I was thinking about his most famous song Angels and how he used rhyme in the first verse. He focuses a lot on one sound:
Do they know the places where we go when we’r e grey and old?
Cause I have been told
That salvation let’s their wings unfold
In this section he uses 3 rhyming words : old/told/unfold as well as two other rhyming words that sound similar to the above rhymes know/go. I love the way he groups these together. It really gets the song into the memory, into the subconscience. He also does it with the subsequent lines too:
So when I’m lying in my bed,
Thoughts running through my head
And I feel that love is dead
I’m loving Angels instead
Thats right, four of them! These techniques coupled with other factors make this song still one of his best ones to date. I just over played it a bit at uni so I don’t listen to it much anymore. It was only when I was running the lyrics through my head, as I often do to get inspiration that this song really struck me.
So there you have it. A little bit about who inspires me to keep on rhyming. I’ve also discovered the power of slant rhymes, in other words near rhymes as opposed to perfect rhymes, which can work so well. Particularly in songs when you haven’t really got time to think “that doesn’t rhyme properly” You just register the key sounds eg arms/stars gone/long. I will be trying some of these out in future work.
I will leave you with my own poem. Again, the work of a disasterous bedtime:
Why is it that bedtime is sometimes such a breeze?
But other times it can have you crumbling to your knees?
Sometimes it’s filled with promise and hope
But other times you just can’t cope!
Why can’t it just be black and white?
Instead of making you feel you’re doing nothing right?
It just goes to show that putting a toddler to bed
Can really and truly mess with your head!
Amazing how the words flow when you really have something to say. It’s the other times when I want to write poetry and nothing is coming to mind that I find frustrating.
I close this by thanking all those who have inspired me, including fellow blogger Dawn, who writes Rhyming with Wine. I love her work as it always inspires me.
And of course all those who are reading this.
Love to all.