I’ve been slowly working some exercises on various poetic metres, finding over and over that my verse sounds strained and my rhymes are forced. At times I’ve leaned too far into alliteration and have needed an avalanche of Advil to get through it. I have been frankly embarrassed by the poetry I’ve been writing, even as my prose is praised as lyrical and musical.
But this morning, the verse is flowing a bit better and has a great deal of meaning, even though it’s short. Unfortunately, that meaning is not at all deep, and not at all suitable for worship… because what’s foremost on my mind is this:
The first sign was the clunking hiss,
the second was the grind,
Yet off to bed I happily went,
put noises out of my mind.
Yet on the hour, yes, every hour,
the sounds began again,
arousing me from slumber,
never reaching R.E.M.
At six o’clock, I’d had enough
and woke to a cold nose,
a colder floor, and colder sink
and – “brr!” – a cold commode.
So bundled up I went downstairs,
and just as I suspected,
while set to sixty-eight degrees,
ten lower was suggested.
It’s six-fifteen, I sadly sighed,
and this is not my house.
I have to wait til 9 o’clock
to call someone to grouse.
Yes, yes, a bad poem still. But since it had been a few days, I knew I needed to post something so as to be kept honest. And I figured if it were a sillier poem (even if my cold toes object), you would forgive the atrocities I have committed to the poetic form.
By the way, that’s ballad meter, often used by the likes of Emily Dickinson.
There’s nothing wrong with that. It’s decent verse. It’s got meter, the rhymes aren’t forced–I like suspected/suggested and may steal it someday–the syntax is generally okay. It’s not bad, just lackluster.