February 14th, 2012

tree_face

This is a genuine question, but I thought it would be more fun to put it in verse...

I like the taste of rhymes that aren't,
At least not quite; that are half, para, slant,
Aural obliquities, words nor right nor true,
But verging near. Though decadent,
They suit me fine: their Epicurean swerve,
That syncopated shimmy, jives the universe.

Time's scythe will flatten vowels, bring diphthongs down,
And words that chimed on Shakespeare's tongue
On ours must be untold:
For "loved" and "proved"
Will not rhyme as of old.

Received Pronunciaton too can warp words' weft:
"Wordsworth's 'matter/water' are full rhymes",
As Tony Harrison made plain.
Now, as in Wordsworth's time,
Old Cumbrians with leeches
Are elocution teachers.

So, is half rhyme an accident of change?
And was it, to begin with, quite unmeant?
Is this poetic helper
Merely a felix culpa?
If so, I think it apt - that ragged rhyme,
Should wander from the straight and narrow line.