Monday, February 25, 2013

Monday Poetry Stretch - Climbing Rhyme

It's been nearly two years since we visited climbing rhymes, so I think it's time to try again.

Climbing Rhyme is a form of Burmese poetry containing a repeated sequence of 3 internally-rhymed lines consisting of 4 syllables each. Since Burmese is monosyllabic, this works well, but in English this might be difficult. Instead of 4 syllable lines, let's try writing in lines of 4 words. (If you're feeling brave, go ahead and try four syllables!)

The rhyme scheme for climbing rhyme is internal. That means the position of the rhyming word changes. The rhyme appears in the 4th word of line one, 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, giving a stair-step feel to the poem, hence the name climbing rhyme.
For those of you who need to see this visually, here it is. Each x stands for a word. The letters stand for rhyming words. Just remember the 4-3-2 pattern.
x x x a
x x a x
x a x b
x x b x
x b x c
x x c x
x c x x
What kind of climbing rhyme will you write? Leave me a comment about your poem and I'll post the results here later this week.


  1. I Can’t

    I can’t talk about
    my brother without flinching.
    He’d shout at me—
    never could see what
    made family. That place,
    blurred, buzzing space, arc
    of face and fist.

    —Kate Coombs, 2013
    all rights reserved

  2. Good go, Kate, and interesting poem!

  3. This comment has been removed by the author.

  4. Kate, your poem is OUTSTANDING!
    I'm staying on the family thread that you created.


    I get so mad
    When our Dad screams
    At Chad, my brother.
    We miss Mother like
    Any other family would,
    Though Pop should realize
    How good life is.

    (C) Charles Waters 2013 all rights reserved.

  5. I know it's late, but I've been worrying these words all week, so I'm going to post this thing anyway. I got hung up on syllables and then couldn't transition back to words. Seems silly after reading these two poems already posted. But that was my week, so here it is.


    Let's celebrate,
    syncopate breaths,
    create a song,
    jump head long from
    the wrong story
    into freedom.
    Let's be sunshine
    and sweet wine. You
    be mine. I'm yours.

  6. Thanks, Julie and Charles! Nothing like family. Charles, there's something so poignant about "like/Any other family would." Understating what can't be overstated. Doraine, I like your spring, especially "syncopate breaths" and jumping from "the wrong story."

  7. Later still--this was hard!

    A Mother’s Rhyme

    fingers crossed I will
    not drop ’til light
    is nil, heaven winks,
    night owls blink and
    children think it’s time
    for bed, climb up
    stairs—rhymes in heads,
    faces rosy, red lips
    pursed—tread away to
    distant lands—blue and
    purple, hues of gold—
    where stories told are
    never old… and all their dreams come true.

    1. Yup. You nailed it. These do take time. I wish I didn't have a job!

  8. One of my Pinterest boards (not complete).

    Spring bird that flies
    through clear skies -- dips,
    weaves, dives to feed
    in tall weed where
    sweet seed is long.
    Soon a throng sings
    a song of spring.