Thursday, April 03, 2008

Rhymed couplets—a National Poetry Month post

A follow-up to yesterday's post about rhymed couplets. Here are some snippets so you can see them in action:

Oft has our poet wisht, this happy Seat
Might prove his fading Muse's last retreat.

~John Dryden: from "Epilogue to Oxford"

And, spite of Pride, in erring Reason's spite,
One truth is clear, "Whatever is, is right."

~Alexander Pope: from An Essay on Man

He learn'd the arts of riding, fencing, gunnery,
And how to scale a fortress — or a nunnery.

~George Gordon, Lord Byron: from Don Juan, Canto the First, XXXVIII

Behold, within the leafy shade,
Those bright blue eggs together laid!
On me the chance-discovered sight
Gleamed like a vision of delight.

~William Wordsworth: from "The Sparrow"

Music, you are pitiless to-night.
And I so old, so cold, so languorously white.

~Amy Lowell, from "Nuit Blanche"

I do not like them in a box.
I do not like them with a fox.
I do not like them in a house.
I do not like them with a mouse.
I do not like them here or there.
I do not like them anywhere.
I do not like green eggs and ham.
I do not like them, Sam-I-am.

~Dr. Seuss, from Green Eggs and Ham

As soon as Fred gets out of bed,
his underwear goes on his head.
His mother laughs, "Don't put it there,
a head's no place for underwear!"
But near his ears, above his brains,
is where Fred's underwear remains.

~Jack Prelutsky, from "As Soon as Fred Gets Out of Bed"

She doesn't mind what people say.
She always does things her own way.

~Nikki Grimes, from "Meet Danitra Brown"

Time to plant trees is when you're young,
So you will have them to walk among -
So, aging, you can walk in shade
That you and time together made.

~James Hayford, from "Goats in Pasture"

And here's one to get you started, should you want to try your hand writing a poem using rhymed couplets. It's two lines I drafted that went nowhere. On the one hand, it's a complete thought; on the other, two more rhyming lines could make it something more. Your mission, should you choose to accept it, is to write those two lines:

Webbed-foot babies in a row
Ducklings waddle to and fro

I hope you'll share if you come up with an end to my duck tale!

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