Anonymous poet No. 3

Stay Close, Holly Bear


Holly Bear woke up in the early dawn.

She rolled over with a grumble and a yawn.

‘It’s spring,’ she cried in glee,

and jumped up ready to see.



This is the beginning of a rhyming picture book text.

Thank you Anonymous poet No. 3.


When I edit rhyming manuscripts my main focus is the rhyme and the meter, I try not to tamper too much with the actual story as my service does not include a manuscript assessment. While I have had many rhyming poems and stories in verse published I am yet to publish any in book form so feel unqualified to offer advice on story. As such, I will only be concentrating here on the poets rhyme and meter – best to stick with what you know.




So here we have a verse made up of two rhyming couplets. The rhyme pattern is AABB




Holl y bear woke up in the ear ly dawn  
She rolled ov er with a grum ble and a yawn
It’s spring she cried in glee          
and jumped up read y to see        


The meter, however is a bit all over the place. Here’s what I might suggest.


Holly rubbed her eyes at dawn

Rolled and stretched and gave a yawn

Pulled the blinds so she could see

‘It’s Spring,’ she cried. ‘Yippee! Yippee!’


  Holl y rubbed her eyes at dawn
  Rolled and stretched and gave a yawn
  Pulled the blinds so she could see
It’s Spring she cried Yip pee Yip pee


I’ll go through it line by line.


Line 1

  • We don’t need the word ‘bear’ as a picture book would illustrate this and it also makes the rhythm awkward.
  • We don’t need the word ‘early’ as ‘dawn’ means early morning.
  • I’ve exchanged ‘rubbed her eyes’ for ‘woke up’ as it is more descriptive. It also fits the meter better (trochaic) – a stressed syllable followed by an unstressed one.


Line 2

  • I’ve removed unnecessary words such as ‘over’ if one rolls, we can assume that they are rolling over.
  • I’ve replaced ‘grumble’ with ‘stretched’ for two reasons. Firstly it didn’t seem to fit with the overall mood of the verse and it also fits the meter better.


Lines 3 & 4

  • I’ve swapped these lines as logically they now make more sense I think. And it also allows me to remove the cliché ‘cried in glee’ which always comes across as forced and just there because it rhymes and replaced it with the more colourful Yippee! Yippee!


Thanks again Anonymous poet No.3  Your e-book is on its way…


If you are finding these online edits useful – you might also like read my tips at my Poetry Blog. You might also like to purchase a copy of my e-book “How to write Rhyme like the Experts”.

4 thoughts on “Anonymous poet No. 3

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