If It Didn’t Rhyme (A Poem in Couplets)

July 9

I find myself wondering, from time to time:
How has history changed, because of a rhyme?
If words had been different, some of our favourite songs
would find some of their lyrics just do not belong
And since popular music shapes culture and society,
We must concede power to a song’s notoriety.

Consider how The Who’s My Generation would sound,
if “get us down” didn’t rhyme with “get around”?
Could MacCartney have kept all his troubles at bay,
if “stay” and “far away” didn’t rhyme with “Yesterday”?
Or would James Brown really have felt quite so good,
if he couldn’t rhyme that he knew that he would?

Or anthems – if not with years “victorious” or “glorious”,
how would one bid “God save the Monarch” reigning “over us”
Or how would Canadians “on guard for thee” stand,
if “thee” rhymed not with “free”, nor “land” with “command”?
Would the myriad of rhymes in The Star-Spangled Banner,
make America different phrased in some other manner?

And what about Christmas carols, sung every year?
If not jolly, would holly bring so much cheer?
Or fond memories of White Christmases we “used to know” –
How would they sound with no rhyme on the word “snow”?
or back even further, to William Shakespeare –
Sonnets unwritten since the rhyme wasn’t there

Countless other examples, but this poem’s quite long
(Though its rhymes have been eased by plagiarism from songs)
…It’s crazy to think, no? How life would be changed,
if popular lyrics had to be rearranged…
Their meanings, of course, would change slightly as well,
although as to how, one really can’t tell.
Yet consider the massive effect of each word
on the vast populations by which it is heard,
and it’s clear that such a small thing as a rhyme
can have a lasting effect for all human time.

How To Write A Sonnet

July 8

If someone in your life you’d like to woo
And you suppose you’d like to try with verse
Yet poesy is all but new to you
Relax, for sonnet know-how I disperse:

The first step is to choose your rhyming scheme
Shakespearean is how this one is known
Italian’s another often seen
For more you can do research on your own.

Pentameter-iamb’s the other key:
Unstressed and stressed repeated five times o’er
Eventually it will come naturally,
Though first it may feel like a brutal chore.

Good luck! You’re more poetic than your peers.
Be proud to join the ranks of sonneteers.

A portrait of Malcolm Ocean

I'm Malcolm Ocean.

I'm trying to figure out how humans work so I can help make humanity work. More about me.

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