Monday, December 01, 2008

Monday Poetry Stretch - Climbing Rhyme

During the summer we wrote climbing rhymes. I thought this form was very interesting, and think we should try it again.

In a poem written in climbing rhyme, the position of the rhyming word changes. It first appears in the 4th word of line 1, 3rd word of line 2, and 2nd word of line 3. The pattern continues as a new rhyme appears in the 4th word of line 3, the 3rd word of line 4, and the 2nd word of line 5. This continues on and on, giving a stair-step feel to the poem.

Here's the poem I wrote for the last challenge.
Skipping, Skipping, Skipping

Round, flat, perfect stones,
Mother Nature hones smooth.
Sedimentary bones that skip
the surface, flip then
finally dip from sight.
I can think of many topics at this time of year that may work nicely in this scheme. What will you write about? Leave me a comment about your poem and I'll post the results here later this week. Happy writing!


  1. This was interesting to try. Forces true compression.

    Nearing Winter

    The bare boned trees
    Bereft of bees, birds,
    Welcomes freeze with limbs
    Raised, sings hymns as
    Light dims, throwing shade.

    --Jane Yolen

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  3. I had to delete that last post because I didn't read the rules carefully. Went a bit wild, as I'm prone to do.

    Here's the rule-follower:

    Heard Over the P.A. System at the Mall

    Placido Domingo singing White
    Christmas? Not right, not
    Bing-ish. Politely tell him:
    Time to trim your
    repertoire, flim-flam man,
    humbugger. You can’t sing
    Crosby. Banned. Prohibido, Placido.

    That a tough form to end - it just keeps I chimed the end.
    If anyone wants to see the unruly adaptation, it's over at The Drift Record

  4. Yeah, Julie--I realized it would go on and on if you let it. Luckily, I was working on mine at night in bed and was just too danged sleepy to go on.

    Love your poem,though being neither a Crosby or a Placido fan might have missed something.


  5. Jane - I loved your poem, too (nice to know you were toasty warm while writing it!)You also tied it up with a chime - raised/shade - very naturally & gracefully.

    For those of you interested in a surreal experience, try watching this YouTube video of a young Placido Domingo singing (shouting?) White Christmas. His white 3-piece suit seems to be the stand-in for snow, as he walks among the broad-leaved banana trees and Spanish arches! Here's the link:

  6. Song of the Discount Scarf Weaver

    When warping the weft
    I'm often left with
    A cleft among thread.
    Wind in said gap
    Your head may freeze
    But remember please the
    sales policies. No refunds.

  7. Here's my second climbing rhyme man in my mind - thanks for introducing me to this intriguing form...