Anonymous poet No. 5

Standard

Here is a verse from a rhyming story I wrote.

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He just about had her; this was it, this was it!!

But then, oh my goodness, do you know what she did?

She turned around slowly. She could smell him you see.

I did say he was stinky. He was very smelly.

 

Straight into this one…

 

 

 

 

 

 

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He just a bout had her ; this was it this was it
But then oh my good ness , do you know what she did
She turned a round slow ly . She could smell him you see
I did say he was stink y He was ve ry smell y

 

 

 

This one has an interesting meter that can’t really be categorised easily. Having said that you can still see that the pattern is predicable, all except for the last line so let’s work on that one.

 

 

I did say he was stink y He was ve ry smell y

 

So you can see that there is an extra syllable in the first part of the line. The author will know to rush over these words so that they fit into two beats instead of three. Some new readers will do this too, some will not. Best to remove the potential problem.

 

The second issue is a very common mistake made when writing in rhyme. Even though the last syllable in the word ‘smelly’ ends in an ‘ee’ sound, it is an unstressed syllable. In order is rhyme ‘smelly’ with ‘see’ the reader is expected to pronounce the word ‘smelly’ incorrectly. The correct pronunciation is SMELLy with the stress falling on SMELL – like jelly, belly etc. So to rhyme with ‘you see’ we need to say jell-EE.

The word ‘very’ though not as obvious, is often, in natural speech rushed over and so can be regarded as a one syllable word. You really have to enunciate to get two beats out of it.

 

Having said that what would I suggest?

 

Perhaps…

 

 

I said he was stink y . Well he smelled terr i bly

 

or, if you want to jazz it up a little…

 

He was pu trid and rot ten . And he smelled terr i bly

 

 

Although not perfect, I’m not thrilled with ‘terribly’ though I think it is an improvement, I’m sure you can see what I mean. Also note that there are two syllables at the beginning of the line – again in natural speech you would tend to blend this into one beat so the rhythm of the line is not interrupted.

 

The other option is to change the previous line…

 

She turned a round slow ly . She could smell him you know
He was pu trid and rot ten . From his head to his toe

 

I think I prefer this.

 

Thanks Anonymous poet No. 5. I’ll be sending your e-book “How to write Rhyme like the Experts” directly.

 

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