Rhyming Slang

Just finished reading a poetry anthology. Didn’t understand a SINGLE word of any of the poems. Are we just stupid or has the world been put into a blender and emerged as pink gloop where no ingredients are visible? Think we must be stupid. Why does no-one do rhyming poetry anymore? Is it considered low brow? Poets seem to shy away from it ‘cos they don’t want to be labelled simple. When we read poems we don’t know what the form is, it’s a poem. Where are the poetry rebels who laugh in the face of form, who refuse to conform to these dictatorial rules? Oh hang on, here we are. When we did the poetry reading we were worried everyone would do deep meaningful poems and there was us nervously clutching our funny rhyming couplets. We were right. Our concentration levels are poor at the best of times and we were left like Homer Simpson when his brain abandoned him and he just stood there staring blankly. The only poems we remembered were read by our mate Neil, who also did funny rhyming poems. What the f***? (He knows what we mean.) It was hard enough concentrating with a giant plasma screen showing the Murray match without deciphering poems at the same time. We’re poets, get us outa here. (Again, Neil knows what we mean.) Is it an unwritten rule that if you still don’t get the meaning after the third read through then it’s a brilliant poem? We don’t want to have to search for meaning in this confusing sensory overloaded world. After reading the anthology we had to have a can of Red Bull and sit in a darkened corner. Books are easy. If you can read, you can read a book. Why does it seem like you have to have a degree in poetry just to understand it? In the poetry world, there are complaints that poetry isn’t as popular as it was back in the 1800s – that’s because it hasn’t moved on. Ok, so maybe no-one’s using ne’er, o’er, woe and why is me? But they’re still using flowery language that isn’t in everyday existence. We don’t want to have to read a poem and dictionary at the same time. Our eyesight’s failing as it is. Oscar Wilde’s The Ballard of Reading Gaol, Alfred Noyes’ The Highwayman and Stevie Smith’s Not Waving but Drowning are bloody brilliant and easy to remember ‘cos they rhyme and you get them after one read. Why don’t limericks get published? They’re brilliant. Take note:-

There once was twins who were raving,

They spent their days misbehaving,

Although they was dense,

Their poetry made sense,

Simple rhymes is what they was craving.

Poets seem to be like wine connoisseurs. They ramble on about form, flavours, texture, unstressed this, slanting that. Maybe by not gargling the poem then spitting it into a bucket we might be missing some underlying fruity whatsits but we’re not connnoisseurs. We don’t want to sniff the poem, we want to get drunk.

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