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Writing: Poetry

Two-Line Couplets


Today's Snack: Eat a couple of whole carrots, and drink two glasses of ice water.




Poetry notebook, or lined writing paper and No. 2 pencil



Does poetry make you smile? No wonder. Sound is an important part of human communication. Words that rhyme give us a "tickle" mentally and emotionally. Little kids love nursery rhymes, and so do we all:



Mary had a little lamb; its fleece was white as snow,

And everywhere that Mary went, the lamb was sure to go.



That's a "couplet" - a simple, two-line poem. It's the foundation of all poetry. Of course, not all poetry rhymes. But with a couplet, the last two "beats," or accented syllables, should rhyme - "snow" and "go," in this case - and there should be the same number of accented syllables, or "beats," for each line.


In this couplet, each line had seven accented syllables. The accented syllables are:



Mar . . . had . . . lit . . . lamb . . . fleece . . . white . . . snow


Ev . . . where . . . Mar . . . went . . . lamb . . . sure . . . go



Clap them with your hands as you say that couplet aloud. Hear the accents?


We humans get a real feeling of satisfaction when we "hear" the sounds of words that rhyme, even if we're only reading the words silently. Remember that!


Rhyming isn't just for poetry. You can work rhyming into your regular writing when you want to emphasize a point, or set a lighter, more humorous tone.


A good writer loves the sounds of words, and "plays" with them all the time. One of the best ways to build your language skills is to play around with rhyming.


Let's say you're matching socks to help out at home. Match words, too, by rhyming. Say: "See this sock? It'll hold a rock." Or: "I got some dirt on my blue shirt."


At mealtime: "Eat your dinner, or you'll be thinner." Or: "It's not my fault! Please pass the salt."



Write down 10 short, two-line poems - called "couplets."


You can have as many accent syllables as you'd like; just be sure both lines of your couplet have the same number of beats.


Write more as you think of them.

The more poetry you write, the easier it gets!





By Susan Darst Williams Writing 2010

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