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Rhyming Dictionary Poetry


The concept (Evan Donovan): Look up a word in a rhyming dictionary, such as the online one at RhymeZone.com. Write a poem of any length you want (but longer ones are more fun), which uses as many different rhyming words as possible. You can use different forms (metrical or non-, though metrical is, again, more fun) with different rhyme schemes, but in the sample below, I just used aa ad absurdum. An interesting, possibly more difficult variation, would be to look up two different words and alternate them. Or you could try your hand at a villainelle.




A Love Cadet


I was walking home with my friend Brett

When he asked me to take a bet,

Off’ring a marijuana cigarette

His words I would not soon forget


I was quite close to Brett the brunette

Me and him were a third of a jazz sextet

But sadly I’d incurred much debt

And so I spoke words I’d soon regret


There was a scenester named Georgette

A real hep cat, she played roulette

Her breath always smelt of anisette,

And her tongue was ticklish like a barrette


He wanted me to two-time her with Yvette

But about this move I much did fret

Her boyfriend was buff and named Arnette

I feared he’d turn our sextet into a quartet –

(By essentially killing me and Brett)


But cold-hearted Brett had me in his net

I could not welch on my bad debt

I found myself in a cold sweat

And strangely singing “Bernadette” –

(Particularly strange since my girl was Georgette)


That night in the club we played a hot set

Yvette was a starry-eyed suffragette

My heart in my chest danced a minuet

While outwardly I was cool as a statuette


Suddenly I saw a stark silhouette

Stalking across, so I called to Brett

It was Arnette of the gallant sobriquet

I found myself going into oxygen debt


I felt a strange warmth in my bass clarinet

No longer was I playing a small flageolet

I was afraid I’d be smashed in my minaret

I glanced at Arnette, then at Brett’s cornet


(Herein steps the author, who now is beset

With problems diverse, my words offensive like Tet

O how will I resolve this scene that I’ve set?

I don’t really know; we aren’t there yet.)



By Sarah Funke

The night was young, the stars were old,

My true love’s hair was burnished gold

That twisted darkness into folds

Of dancing shadows stark and bold.


So in her ear, my heart I told

And her reply my fears took hold,

Spurning yearning like damp leaf mould:

“I care for you like the common cold.”


I stood as one now decontrolled

My weight a feather would have bowled!

How could her eyes have not foretold

The anguish mine would suffer, sold

On false dreams that the bards extolled

~low thieves of joy always paroled~

But a lover’s scorn is yet twofold;

She had in life’s hard knocks enrolled

This student stuck inside the hold

Of Good Ship Romance, tossed and rolled

On waves no bitter cry cajoled.


I turned my head, my thoughts uphold

The laws of spurnéd love untold

I sigh. I moan. I turn to scold,

But lacking heart, I seek the wold.


The night was young, the stars were old

And lonely wanders unconsoled.

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