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.

Self-referential Haikus

Two haikus:

July 7

Use only one word
On the last line, if it is

July 6

Typing a haiku
On my computer feels so

Poems from Previous Days

When I try to force myself to write poetry, it often ends up being either self-referential or about whatever is on my mind at the time.

July 5

Is when you forget what you…
What was I saying?

July 4

I once felt inspired to say
I’d write some poem/song every day
This one’s even betta
because it’s so meta
(though for limericks that’s kind of cliché)

July 3

1, 1, 2, 3, Fibonacci
5, 8, 13, started sequencin’
21, 34, numbers found in nature
55, 89, with a ratio so fine
144, that on adding even more
233, will approach Phi

How to Add Daily Awesome to your Life in 2 Easy Steps.

During my Uberman adjustment, I spent a night watching TED talks with a friend who had just discovered them. If you’re reading this and don’t know what TED talks are, go watch some. You’ve been missing out on a lot of inspiration.

It’s only 3 minutes long, so you might as well watch it, but the summary is essentially that Matt Cutts decided awhile ago to challenge himself to do something daily for 30 days. The idea behind this is that since the time-period is so limited, it’s a much more achievable goal because you can tell yourself, “Okay, 10 more days, then I’m free”. These aren’t necessarily going to be permanent life changes, but they show you how much you can accomplish if you just set your mind to it.

A cool point he made is that the 30-day challenges really raised his self-confidence. I think this is a really subtle way of enacting some pretty awesome personal development. Here are the promised 2 easy steps:

  1. Do something awesome.
  2. Repeat Step 1 for thirty days.

After watching the video, myself and the friend decided when the video ended that we would decide on our own 30-day challenges before we watched another video. After talking about it briefly, I decided I wanted to write a poem or song every day and he decided he’d do the same. While I think writing a full song every day would be extremely difficult for me, I feel that this will be manageable because if I get to the end of the day with nothing written then I can just write a haiku. Haikus are poems.

From July 2 to July 31, 2011, I will write a new poem or song every day.

Many of these poems will be posted to the blog. In some cases, I might not have the time or technology to post a song, or it might be about a private part of my life, but I will make sure to at least post the title of such a piece within a few days.

If it all sounds too hard, start with something easy, like “Take a photo every day”. Like my inclusion of Haikus, that makes it virtually impossible to fail, but you will still feel drawn to taking more interesting photos than you have to.

What will your challenge be?



30 Day Poem/Song Challenge Day 1

A haiku, for reasons described earlier

When sleep is all gone
And night is the same as day
Where will I find dreams?
A portrait of Malcolm Ocean

I'm Malcolm Ocean.

I'm developing scalable solutions to fractal coordination challenges (between parts of people as well as between people) based on non-naive trust and intentionality. More about me.

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