Tag Archives: nursery rhymes

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.

Raining:

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,

Smile,

Then pass on by.

My review of Poem Reader, an Alexa skill

This review is of Poem Reader, an Alexa skill which can be accessed using the Amazon Echo.

Amazon’s website describes Poem Reader as:
“Poem Reader is a random collection of poems for the whole family. Enable the skill to ask for today’s poem or the daily rhyme. Alexa will say the poem, not sing it. This skill is meant to help teach you the words to some popular poems and rhymes.”

Having used Poem Reader, it is, in my view more of a vehicle for having nursery rhymes recited than a means of accessing poetry more generally. Each time I asked Poem Reader for a poem and/or rhyme, it produced a rhyme more suited to young children than the family as a whole.

Amongst the rhymes voiced by Alexa was Hickory Dickory Dock, Twinkle Twinkle Little Star, Little miss Muffet and Goosey Goosey Gander.

This skill does, perhaps possess the potential to amuse young children and those with an interest in nursery rhymes. However, from my use of Poem Reader, I believe that the description is somewhat misleading in that it implies a broad selection of rhymes/poems, when what is in fact included is largely (perhaps exclusively) a collection of nursery rhymes.

For anyone interested in checking out Poem Reader, it can be found here, https://www.amazon.co.uk/Poem-Reader-Poems-for-Everyone/dp/B01LFXD2LY/.

“Doctor Foster” Reinterpreted

I have played around, (purely for my own amusement), with the English nursery rhyme “Doctor Foster”. The first rendering is the traditional rendering, followed by my reinterpretations:

Doctor Foster went to
Gloucester,
In a shower of rain;
He stepped in a puddle,
Right up to his middle,
And never went there again.

Doctor Foster went to
Gloucester,
In a shower of rain;
He got in a muddle,
When he fell in a puddle,
And never went there again.

Doctor Foster went to
Gloucester,
In a shower of rain;
He indulged in a cuddle,
In the midst of a puddle,
With a lady whose name was Jane.

Doctor Foster went to
Gloucester,
In a shower of rain;
He stepped in a puddle,
Which did befuddle
His poor overtaxed brain.