Poetry that rhymes

Over the last few weeks, there have been more and more discussions in poetry related forums I participate in over whether poems should rhyme and if that’s passe.

I’m not a huge fan of poetry that has end-rhyme only. Mostly, I think, because sometimes it sounds too “kiddy” or repetitive. I think rhyming poems get ignored or looked down on because some poets force it. Meaning, they put a word at the end of the line for the sole purpose of continuing a rhyme pattern. It’s very difficult to rhyme and make it sound like natural speech.

Do you like rhyming poetry? Do you think rhyming is passe?

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Still I rise by Maya Angelou

I’ve always really admired Dr. Maya Angelou because of how she started out with such a hard life and became someone influential and admired. She became something more than (probably) even she expected. I admired her honesty and her artistry and I really wish I could have met her.

So in honor of the passing of one of my personal heroes, today I’m going to share one of her poems that encourages and uplifts me.

Still I rise by Maya Angelou

You may write me down in history
With your bitter, twisted lies,
You may tread me in the very dirt
But still, like dust, I’ll rise.

Does my sassiness upset you?
Why are you beset with gloom?
‘Cause I walk like I’ve got oil wells
Pumping in my living room.

Just like moons and like suns,
With the certainty of tides,
Just like hopes springing high,
Still I’ll rise.

Did you want to see me broken?
Bowed head and lowered eyes?
Shoulders falling down like teardrops.
Weakened by my soulful cries.

Does my haughtiness offend you?
Don’t you take it awful hard
‘Cause I laugh like I’ve got gold mines
Diggin’ in my own back yard.

You may shoot me with your words,
You may cut me with your eyes,
You may kill me with your hatefulness,
But still, like air, I’ll rise.

Does my sexiness upset you?
Does it come as a surprise
That I dance like I’ve got diamonds
At the meeting of my thighs?

Out of the huts of history’s shame
I rise
Up from a past that’s rooted in pain
I rise
I’m a black ocean, leaping and wide,
Welling and swelling I bear in the tide.
Leaving behind nights of terror and fear
I rise
Into a daybreak that’s wondrously clear
I rise
Bringing the gifts that my ancestors gave,
I am the dream and the hope of the slave.
I rise
I rise
I rise.

***

Rest in Love, Dr. Angelou.

Perplexed Music: Elizabeth Barrett Browning

Today, I’m grateful for music. I’ve always loved music and singing especially. And thankfully, I have a pleasant enough voice that when I sing people listen instead of running from the room screaming. My husband says my singing (and my backside) are what convinced him to ask me out. I’m not sure how to feel about that lol. Flattered works, I think.

Music makes everything I do seem more exciting. I have theme songs for everything. My “walking around anywhere” theme song is Ebla by E.S Posthumus. If you haven’t heard it, I highly recommend listening to it and then either imagine going for a walk or actually do it. Epic.

The poem I am trying -and failing- to write now is also about music. So I decided to share a poem I enjoyed by Elizabeth Barrett Browning for today. ┬áBecause we need more poetry around here! And it isn’t Friday, but I’m going to tag this under favorite fridays anyway.

PERPLEXED MUSIC by Elizabeth Barrett Browning

EXPERIENCE, like a pale musician, holds
A dulcimer of patience in his hand,
Whence harmonies, we cannot understand,
Of God; will in his worlds, the strain unfolds
In sad-perplexed minors: deathly colds
Fall on us while we hear, and countermand
Our sanguine heart back from the fancyland
With nightingales in visionary wolds.
We murmur ‘ Where is any certain tune
Or measured music in such notes as these ? ‘
But angels, leaning from the golden seat,
Are not so minded their fine ear hath won
The issue of completed cadences,
And, smiling down the stars, they whisper–
SWEET.