Editors “hate rhyming poetry”

“Editors hate rhyming poetry. Or do they? Rhyme has become something of a sore subject in the world of contemporary poetry, but to many poetry editors, there’s good reason for the shift. A number of writers who work in rhyme have yet to distinguish between the nursery rhymes of childhood and more adult types of verse. Recollections of the fun, frilly words that cheered and delighted us as children may be the reason editors tend to avoid rhyming poems”. (See https://writersrelief.com/2010/07/12/rhyming-poetry-dos-donts-and-definitions/).

The above is an interesting article. Whilst I agree that some modern rhyming poetry is child-like in nature, I have also seen free verse poetry of which the same could be said. Also, it should be pointed out that there is nothing wrong with child-like rhyming poetry, indeed both Edward Lear and Louis Carroll wrote some wonderful poems aimed at children, which are very much enjoyed by youngsters and adults alike to this day.

Much of my own work (for example that contained in my “Selected Poems”, https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07WW8WXPP/) rhymes.

I have, however, always been of the view that just as one should not put a size 10 foot into a size 9 shoe, (as to do so risks mangling the foot), that to compel a rhyme where no rhyme should properly be is to mangle poetry.

You can find an example of my own rhyming poetry, a poem entitled “Raining” below. As always I would be interested in the views of my readers on this post and the above linked to article.


I awoke to the rain

Drumming on my window pane.

Opening my lattice, I let it in:

The purifying water that washes away sin.

The hypnotic sound

Of rain falling all around.

All my life, I have listened to the rain.

The same drumming

Of water coming

From the sky

Falling on you and I.

The rain has no end;

But you and I, my friend,

May listen for a while,


Then pass on by.

29 thoughts on “Editors “hate rhyming poetry”

  1. blindzanygirl

    I will never get into anyone’s book then. Are used to try to write three or blank verse as they call it but I always found myself in a mess with it. I started to write rhyming poetry in various different forms and I found it a challenge to get real and deep meaning into such forms. But I found writing in such a manner released me and allowed me to express myself far better than I ever could have in three or blank verse. I suppose I will not be very popular really but it is the only way that I can truly write.

    1. K Morris Poet Post author

      Thanks for your comment Lorraine. I, like you, find it much easier to convey meaning in rhyming (as opposed to free verse or blank verse poetry). It may be that the wheel will go full circle and rhyme will come back into fashion once more. Indeed I am not sure that rhyme ever did go out of fashion amongst those in the general public who enjoy poetry. There is, I think sometimes a gap between what “the critics” construe as being “good” poetry, and what the poetry reading public (well the majority of them) conceive as being “good poetry. Kevin

      1. blindzanygirl

        Thank you Kevin. I remember when I used to go to a writing group in Derbyshire the discussion was often about whether it was correct to write in three or blank verse or inform and rhyming. Everyone seemed to prefer free and blank verse. I found that for myself it just went all over the place and I never knew where to end the line and start another one or indeed what to do at all. Oh a d I meant to say that your rhyming poem was winderful, and suited the rhyming scheme completely.

      2. K Morris Poet Post author

        Thanks for your very kind words about my poem, Lorraine.

        I think in poetry (as in so many things in life) that its a case of “horses for courses”, with what suits one poet not suiting another.

        Many people have been extremely kind about my own work whilst some (a minority) do not like it at all. Part of this dislike stems from their view of my rhyming schemes, As a poet I know that I will not be able to please everyone who reads my work and, in the final analysis what matters is that I am happy with what I write.


    1. K Morris Poet Post author

      Many thanks for your comments from the perspective of an editor. I do, of course agree that a poem should make sense, however sometimes what makes sense to one person does not do so to another. For example there are big debates as to the meaning of Eliot’s “The Wasteland”. Have you edited much poetry? Best wishes, Kevin

      1. robinleeann

        I have edited some poetry, yes.

        I think some phrases can be left ambiguous, but as long as they can have one (or more) meanings that make sense, that’s fine.

        If it’s something that a majority of people wouldn’t understand, I’d consider rewriting.

        But it’s all up to the writer anyways.

  2. robbiesinspiration

    I write my children’s books in rhyming verse and a lot of my other adult poetry is also rhyming verse. I think it is much more difficult to write because you can’t force the rhyme as you mention above. Poetry is, of course, something that has fashions.

    1. K Morris Poet Post author

      Thanks, Robbie. I agree with what you say. Its interesting how some people find it easier to compose in free or blank verse, whilst you and I naturally gravitate towards the use of rhyme. Best wishes, Kevin

  3. justmuddlingthroughlife

    I love rhyming poetry and have alot on my blog. I’m not keen on poetry that doesn’t rhyme.. to me that’s a story, not a rhyme. I know people have different opinions on it… I think my work is possibly more Pam Ayres then a classic poet but I wouldn’t say it is childlike either… I’m wondering why editors really don’t like it, though I have seen people make up words.. so they rhyme.. maybe that’s a reason why.

    1. K Morris Poet Post author

      Many thanks for your comment. Its good to meet a fellow lover of rhyming poetry. There is nothing wrong with making up words (Shakespeare is responsible for the creation of quite a few ones we now take for granted), and I think that great nonsense poet Lear may also have had one or two new words to his name. Best, Kevin

    2. rittersrhymeandreason

      If you enjoy rhyming you’ll love my blog. I’ll be featuring other rhyming poets as well as discussing topics all about rhyming poetry in hope that rhyming will become more popular.

    1. K Morris Poet Post author

      Hi Colin,

      I’m sure that is not a problem, but I would be intrigued to see the poem to which you refer. Would you be able to share it please?

      Kind regards, Kevin

      1. colinmcqueen

        It’s on my blog. The haphazardly poetical – finding the perfect rhyme for atrocious. It was stirred by your own blog about publishers not wanting rhyme. I just wanted to acknowledge that your blog ‘inspired’ it. Please let me know if you’d sooner have the link removed.

  4. Dave's Poetry & Mystery...

    I prefer rhyming poetry but read free verse occasionally. I write rhyming poetry, maybe it’s because that’s what I was taught at school and it appeals to me most. I like the feel of ryhythm in a poem and it seem lost in much free verse if not done right. With rhyme it is easier to roll the poem of the tongue and get that rhythm.

  5. rittersrhymeandreason

    I enjoyed your post about rhyming poetry. I just started a whole blog mostly dedicated to rhyming poetry. The purpose of my blog is to try to make it popular again so that publishers will be willing to publish rhyming poetry. I’ll be featuring other poets who enjoy rhyming but could always use more. Any tips on how to build up my followers and how to find people who like to read and/or write rhyming poetry?

    1. K Morris Poet Post author

      Many thanks for commenting and following me at kmorrispoet.com. I am always pleased to meet a fellow lover of rhyming poetry and I wish you the very best of luck with your new blog. As regards tips on growing your blog, commenting on other people’s sites (as you have done on mine) is a good way to meet like minded individuals. The use of relevant categories and tags on your blog will also help readers to find your site. For example using tags/categories such as “rhyme”, “rhyming poetry”, “poems” ETC will assist people in finding your website. Kind regards, Kevin

  6. V.M.Sang

    It’s great thet so many people enjoy rhyming poetry. I just bought a book of ‘poems’. They don’t rhyme, and seem to be simply words the ‘poet’ thought of when tackling the subject, strung randomly together.
    Also, much free verse, if not written in lines, would not be recognised as such. And the line breaks seem random. Surely the very least a poem should have is rhythm or how does it differ from prose?
    As someone who has written poetry, both rhyming and not, I can assure people it’s much harder to rhyme.
    I think the rise of free verse is to do with the fact that nowadays, everything has been made easier. We no longer need to do mental arithmetic. We all have calculators on our phones. We don’t need to be so careful when typing because we can just delete and type again. No retyping a whole page. We don’t even need to press a button to change TV programmes. Just tell ‘Alexa’. Cars will tell us when we’re straying from the lane, or are tired etc.
    So we want to do poetry in the easiest way. We now write prose (beautiful prose, often), break it into random lines and call it a poem. Sorry about that! Rant over.


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