This is my playground for poetry written for children with ideas and inspiration for writing your own poems. Come on in. Sit for a spell, have a cup of words to swirl around and make your own cup of poetry. I'm so glad you are here. I hope you'll find the Kingdom of Poetry a fun place to be.

Saturday, March 30, 2013


I have been working for some time writing a few climbing rhymes.  I've tried at least four of these and am still not happy with my results.  Here is one of my climbing rhymes:

A white moon shines
on cacti spine, sharp,
strange signs for day,
its the way, bright
for play each time.
Hear bells chime, loud,
for dime phone calls.
Lean on walls dim
in halls for dance.

   Look at this poem closely.  What do you see?  There isn't end rhyme.  The rhyming word moves position in each line--thus it climbs through the poem.  Did you notice I only used one syllable words in this poem?  Each line is only four words long.
In the first line the rhyming word is at the end of the line.  In the second line, it moved to the third word position.  In the third line the rhyming word is the second word in the line and the last word becomes a new rhyming word to climb through the poem in position 4, then 3 then 2.  This continues through the poem.
 This form poem reminds me of some of the working African chants, or ghazels.  There is a long history in poetry of rhymes being used in work chants such that one person starts a chant to set a rhythm to make the work go more smoothly and entertain other workers. Then the poem is handed off to another worker who keeps the rhythm but adds to the rhyme.  In Africa, workers built reputations for being excellent rhymers or great game players in this form of poetry competition.
   This climbing rhyme has it's history in Burma and the Burmese language only has one syllable words, but here in the US adaptations are needed.  So some people suggest using only four words per line.  I was trying to be more strict and keep each line to four one syllable words.  You can see I had a difficult time.

Here is a graph for this poem using alphabet letters for the rhyme family.

Line 1 =  x   x   x   A
Line 2 =  x   x   A   x
Line 3 =  x   A   x   B
Line 4 =  x   x   B   x
Line 5 =  x   B   x   C
Line 6 =  x   x   C   x
Line 7 =  x   C   x   D
Line 8 =  x   x   D   x
Line 9 =  x   D   x   E

    This pattern of 4,  3,  2  can continue on until the poets run out of rhyme or get tired.  The real challenge is to make some sense with putting the rhymes in the right place.  If you'd like to know more about climbing rhyme, or if you'd like to see more examples you can find them here herehere, or here.

   Your challenge is to try one of these things.  I'm sure you can do a better job than I did.  If you'd like to share your poem with the rest of us, please leave it in the comments.

   Hope you are having a great weekend.  Happy Easter.


  1. Happy Easter to you, too, Joy. What a structure! I plan to write much poetry during April, so will return to your posts to get some ideas. FYI-I think this is good. The distraction, perhaps, is those rhymes that are similar, like time, etc. & shine, etc. It's a tough problem with the one word restriction, etc.

  2. Thanks Linda. Especially for the suggestion. I'll try again and work for rhymes that can't be slip rhymes of each other. It is a fun challenge for me.