For any budding poet, this seems to be a frequently asked question. Of late, the trend would appear to be that contemporary poems shouldn’t rhyme, or at least not obvious in-your-face rhymes. But the question poets ask Should poems rhyme? Well for me the answer could not be simpler. I’ll answer it soon but first this…
We live in an increasingly dictated world under the misconception that we are free. Sure we know the rules for a happy society; don’t murder anyone, don’t rob a bank, and a million other obvious ones. But we live in a world of political correctness, health and safety, small print and arse covering. Everyday someone will get offended by something. We all have to be careful in case we get accused, sued or worse.
But for creativity, should we be told what to do? Do rules, guidelines and instructions allow for creativity? Only if there is a brief or a commission but for a writer or poet who wants to create they should be free to do so (generally speaking that is, obviously there are things that should be avoided or handled discreetly).
The answer to the question then should a poem rhyme is quite simply yes if you want it to or no if you don’t.
I saw on a poetry submission site that the editors will not accept poems that rhyme. Sorry but they’re the last people I would send my poems to, (those that rhyme AND those that don’t). How can restriction and closed minds have any good effect on creativity?
There are though dangers of rhyming; like it being forced, clichéd and sounding like a lame greeting card. There are dangers with not rhyming too; like it sounding like a shopping list of sentences and lacking a poetic rhythm making it awkward for the reader.
Personally I like rhyming poems, not necessarily obvious rhymes but subtle rhymes so it would appear there is no rhyming but the reader believes it rhymes because they feel some words sound similar. That's just my opinion; I like rhymes.
Bottom line though is that if you think your poem should rhyme and might sound good with it then you are the poet, you are in charge of what you write so do it. If you don’t want your poem to rhyme then that’s fine too, even when we are told that contemporary poetry shouldn’t rhyme because it’s the current trend.
It’s down to the poet. And the poet must be creative and that is that.
What do you think?