Tuesday, January 03, 2006

People Who Liked This Blog Also Liked...

A couple of people have said that they like what they've read on this blog, although they don't usually care for rhyming poetry. I think the problem is not that rhyming is intrinsically silly or stilted, but that there is a shortage of _good_ rhyming poetry out there. Rhyming is a learned skill, and I suspect many people make a stab at it, decide (correctly) that they didn't do very well, and then conclude (incorrectly) that they can't do any better.

So, in the interests of demonstrating the possible, I'm giving a few pointers to other rhyming poets that I think people will like. The poetry journals listed in my sidebar all publish at least some rhyming verse, though most publish other kinds as well. Online poetry journals seem to come and go pretty fast, so take a look while these links are still reasonably up-to-date.

John M. Ford is probably better known as a science fiction author, but he's also an outstanding poet (in my opinion, anyway). Ford was the first poet I ran across who writes in classical forms, but uses very modern, colloquial language (much of the time), without sounding forced or silly. He's one of the models I try to emulate. Heat of Fusion is a good collection featuring a mix of poetry and short stories; the short fiction may or may not be to your taste, but if you like what you've seen here, you'll almost certainly like his poetry. There's also a sample here; have a shoulder handy to cry on.

Winifred Welles (1893 - 1939) is unfortunately completely out of print. We were able to find most of her books online, and one of my long-term projects is to get her poetry into a digital format; if there are no copyrights remaining active, I'll try to put some of it up. In the meantime, here's a sample.


My shoes fall on the house-top that is so far beneath me,
I have hung my hat forever on the sharp church spire.
Now what shall seem the hill but a moment of surmounting,
The height but a place to dream of something higher!

Wings? Oh, not for me, I need no other pinions
Than the beating of my heart within my breast;
Wings are for the dreamer with a bird-like longing,
Whose dreams come home at eventide to rest.

The timid folk beseech me, the wise ones warn me,
They say that I shall never grow to stand so high;
But I climb among the hills of cloud and follow vanished lightning,
I shall stand knee-deep in thunder with my head against the sky.

Tiptoe, at last, upon a pinnacle of sunset,
I shall greet the deathlike evening with laughter from afar,
Nor tremble in the darkness nor shun the windy midnight,
For by the evening I shall be a star.

I might have titled this blog "Knee-Deep In Thunder", if there wasn't already a book by that title.

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