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Showing posts from September, 2014

Does anything rhyme with chutney?

Apart from Putney. And unless you live there or wish to visit the place and write poems about expensive London suburbs and rivers and bridges, it is probably artificial and contrived to insert Putney into a poem simply to make it rhyme. Why rhyme anyway? Why, indeed. Some modern poetry hasn't encountered a single rhyming word, hasn't flirted with structure, verse or form, and wouldn't know the difference between a couplet and a romantic dinner for two.I exaggerate but I admit to being a traditionalist. "All along the backwater, Through the rushes tall, Ducks are a-dabbling, Up tails all!" - Kenneth Grahame made me smile as a child and he still does today. His poem trips off the tongue and its rhythm is instantly memorable. I write poems that rhyme when the auditory leaps and jumps compliment the subject - but rhyme can equally sound laboured, can force the poem in the wrong direction and for the poet desperately in search of an elusive rhyme can become agonising

A bar of soap, apple jelly and an oily ooze

My phone didn't need a video screen, I could  see her lips tighten and pucker as she sucked the air through her teeth, "Oooh! It can go from a small crack to a hole big enough to fit your fist in. In just a few hours!" In other words don't delay. In other words - words like hurry and leaking and oil and no-longer-guaranteed and cost and weekend-rates and call-out-fees and estimates and emergency - this will be expensive. I tried a few words of my own - "I'll get back to you" and "Phone around for other quotes" and "Goodbye." The second quote secured the deal - "We'll come tomorrow." Goodbye the gloom and doom merchants and hello to Mr Calmly-assess-the-situation-before-reassuring-the-client-that-all-will-be-well.  Why turn an ooze into an emergency? Why panic? Why guarantee that the client will suffer insomnia worrying that the ooze will increase to a gush and flood the garden with £900 of domestic heating oil? Wh