Poetry, Serious or Not

In the beginning of 2021, I wrote a borderline nonsense poem with instructions on how to properly construct a poem with rhyme.

How to Write a Poem with Rhyme

To make a simple rhyme
which needs to sing and pop,
my mind will sometimes roam
then go from cold to hot.

I’ll search for true rhyme first,
then work to slant a few.
I’m sure I will rehearse
a consonance or two.

I’ll look for assonance
and try it on for sound
to see if it makes sense
when said out clear and loud.

Eye rhyme, half rhyme, impure —
if none will stand alone,
I’ll throw them out the door
and bring my mind back home .

While the verses include serious guidelines to create a rhyming poem, the style is humorous. Humor in poetry entices laughter even when the subject has significance. The silliness of my mind roaming by itself, while we both wrestle to write, strikes a chord with poets who love the sounds of rhyme. The struggle is real.

Serious poems can be fun to write without the giggles. This example overflows with rhyme, meter, and striking imagery without a hint of nonsense.

Winter Sun

The winter sun wears gold on gray
but often casts a crimson hue
to herald start and end of day.
The winter sun wears gold on gray
but takes the time to pause and play
and mix bold colors warm to view.
The winter sun wears gold on gray
but often casts a crimson hue.

Readers will picture the writer’s view as tranquil and full of awe. They will “see” colors change from crimson to gold on gray after the sunrise on a winter morning or vice versa during a beautiful winter sunset. Painting brilliant scenes gives a poet a tremendous sense of satisfaction. Even when words seem simple, the artistry can be moving.

My final example is a nonsense poem in free verse. The simple verse embodies a rambling style which swings from a thoughtful, questioning introduction to a childlike, self-centered conclusion which causes reviewers to laugh.

Things I Need

Life. Liberty. Love.
Besides these three things,
what more could I want?
Except vegetables —
I must have vegetables,
especially green ones,
every day
for life.


The crazy change from a philosophical viewpoint to a practical one is pure nonsense, but wild laughter renders nonsense completely forgivable.

I encourage everyone to put pen to paper and give life to a poem today. Whether serious or silly, orderly or meandering, rhymed or free verse, let it breathe. The world needs poetry as it does vegetables­—every day for life.

Donna Nelson
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