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'The Perfect Fit'

March 01, 1992

\o7 As a reader, and what's worse

a publisher, of formal verse,

I write in hopes I'm not too late

to add my voice to this debate

on whether poetry should rhyme.

I say perhaps not all the time,

but often. Form need not detract

from meaning; it can add, in fact.

The trouble is, it's not so easy.

Lexicographer Gene Lees, he

claims that "There are only four

true rhymes for 'love"'* ("of"

adds one more.)

It isn't just the joy of it--

the entering, the perfect fit--

that makes the poets think of

"glove"

when sex is what they're writing

of.

With all the animals on earth

enjoying procreation's mirth,

why do the poets look above,

and then, why choose the boring

dove?

The answer, when push comes to

shove,

is insufficient rhymes for "love."

It's here, the Twelfth of Never

Time:

the poets have run out of rhyme.

P.S. If you must edit, I'm

agreeable, but keep the rhyme.

The meter too. And having said it,

maybe you'd best just not edit.

* The Modern Rhyming Dictionary, Oxford University Press, 1981.

JOHN DANIEL, SANTA BARBARA

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