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Poetry Friday- Returning to Rhyming Couplets

I find myself once again focused upon the theme of rhyming couplets. There are some important elements involved in writing couplets.

Couplets consist of two lines of rhyming verse and they possess a set metre/meter. Simply put, metre/meter is a poetic device providing a sound pattern that gives the written words a rhythmical and melodious sound. A famous example of this is the following traditional English-language nursery rhyme in the form of a riddle:

As I was going to St.Ives,
I met a man with seven wives.

Shakespeare also made frequent use of rhyming couplets, as in this example from 'Hamlet.' 

              The time is out of joint, O cursed spite
             That ever I was born to set it right!

Here are some tips that might prove useful in writing rhyming couplets:

Start with the word you have chosen to end your first line and then find a rhyming word to end line two. Now, write the link up words to complete the couplet.

Alternatively, start with a word and then create a list of words that rhyme with that word and provide you with the best possible connection. When you have the best pair of words start writing.

Rhyming couplets could prove to be fun when used as part of 'Twitterverse' where issues, current affairs, unusual events and hashtags  may prove to be inspirational fodder for poetic responses on Twitter. I must admit to taking couplets in this direction many times.

So this morning I started with a rhyming couplet and just added additional related couplets until, Voila! I had a poem comprising five rhyming couplets. 

A Man From Wangaratta


I met a man from Wangaratta,

Who really loved to chitter-chatter.


He spoke to me of many things,

Pumpkins, pirates, angel wings.


We sat upon a park bench talking,

While in the trees some crows sat squawking.


Stories shared with words of wonder,

Trinkets, treasures, threats and thunder.


He bid farewell and off he strode,

Tipping his hat as he hit the road.

Alan j Wright

The Rural City of Wangaratta's new big W logo may incorporate the ...


  1. Ha! You make it look SO easy. I love the ridiculousness of the items in your poem because it makes talking about pumpkins and angel wings in the same conversation plausible and whimsical. Well done chitter chatter!

    1. Thank you Linda, for your generous comments. Well, part of the making of poetry is to make it appear easy, when in reality it takes a lot of trial and error to find words that look and sound the part. Writing in all its from is problem solving. Making rhyming verse work is a bit like constructing with Lego- when the pieces fit together, there's a click as they slot into place. I love the challenge of rhyming verse. It has continually called me back across the years.

  2. Replies
    1. I really enjoyed your poem. I also like rhyming couplets. It's fun to write them and I suppose they are perfect to share on Twitter. Good idea.

    2. Thank you Mary Lee and Janice. Rhyming couplets are indeed fun to make. Concise, pithy and capable to being applied to a broad range of topics and themes. The tone can be playful, political or just plain fun.

  3. I was going to ask if Wangaratta was real and then I saw the photo. Ha! This is a fun writing exercise. Rhyme is not an easy thing to me, especially since the meter matters when you rhyme. I should take your advice and just play in my journal with writing couplets. Thanks!

    1. Wangaratta is indeed a real place Margaret, but because it has such an unusual sound I felt I needed to include the photo. The name Wangaratta, like many Australian towns are derived from Australian indigenous languages. They possess a lyrical quality- Oodnadatta, Parramatta, Mooloolaba, even my home town, Monbulk. You are correct in onting how important meter is to rhyme. That is why we must speak our words aloud to ensure they are 'working.' I like the idea of trying couplets in your journal. Best wishes...

  4. I love this one, Alan!
    Stories shared with words of wonder,

    Trinkets, treasures, threats and thunder.

    1. Thank you Laura. The alliteration is a conscious indulgence of mine, I must admit.

  5. What a fun post, Alan! Linda's right--you make it look so effortless! I'm intrigued by the idea of using couplets to make pithy commentary about current events. I also love the ingenuity of your chitter-chatter rhyme. Thanks for the tips and the smile!

    1. Thank you Molly. Your response is much appreciated as always. I have been indulging my socio-political interests recently with some forays into Twitterverse using rhyming couplets. It has given new life to my participation in that social sphere. It forces me to focus upon creativity rather than spontaneous reaction. I don't wish to be like a certain political figure...
      Pleased you liked the tips and smiles.

  6. Alan, there are many fun lines in your rhyming couplet poem that tells of an imaginative story. Stories shared with words of wonder,
    Trinkets, treasures, threats and thunder.
    I enjoyed your poem.

    1. Thank you Carol. It was also a joy to create this poem. I'm glad you found enjoyment in my words.


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