Thursday, October 30, 2008

Rhyme time

When I've been writing all day, the last thing I want to do when I get home is, you guessed it, write. Which is too bad because I really do enjoy it when I can just write for fun. The hardest part, as with any writing, is getting started. 

If your poetic pump needs priming (alliteration, sweet), I highly suggest The Teachers and Writers Handbook of Poetic Forms. It lists all sorts of poetic styles and terms, which, for me, serve as a proxy for a writing assignment. As a nonfiction guy, my imagination often needs some help to get going, and I find if I have some template to work with, the going is much easier -- and fun. There are other books about poetic form, but the Handbook is the one I usually reach for because of its clear writing and wide range of ideas. 

Last weekend, while flipping through the book, I landed on a form called bouts-rimes, French for "rhymed ends." It kind of sounds like a kids activity: Someone writes down a bunch of rhymed words in alternating sequence and the other fits a poem to them. 

Jen helped with this one, giving me the following words in this order: dance, handle, pants, candle, breathe, vamp (ouch, that's a hard one), leave, camp, fine, stoop, wine, regroup, dusk and musk. 

Well, here goes nothing:

Do you remember the way we used to dance,
the way we used to drink more than we could handle
and gain a pair of shoes and lose a pair of pants,
the way we'd light a candle with another candle
for your birthday cake and let the flames breathe
in your breath, the way you used to to vamp
down A1A after 2 a.m. made you leave,
the way we used to sleep beside a camp-
fire, how the smoke made everything fine,
the way we had to stoop
to get inside the tent without spilling our wine,
the way the mosquitoes would regroup
at the dawning of dusk,
their hungry dance in the midnight musk?

OK, now everybody play.

Any suggestions for a title, by the way? 

1 comment:

Jennifer said...

That's my brilliant hubby! You're so talented!