Part XII: (lyrical couplets)

This, the most familiar form of rhyme
Is used in song and verse time after time

This the sixth edition came about
The gateway to familiarise throughout

This kind of rhyme is used in popular and folk music, modern (and by now one might even venture to state “vintage”) rap–or perhaps it is better refereed to as “old school.”  I am not the best at “throwing down” such couplets.  I feel at times I can build up to one I will look back upon with favour that ends a Shakespearean or other couplet ending sonnet.  The overall effect of one couplet after another might be called “sing-song” but that, in essence, is the point of the exercise, and is why such couplets are called “lyrical.”

Of course, I have mentioned in other posts somewhere on this blog that Rudyard Kipling wrote a a number of sonnets using such couplets–in introduction to chapters in his “Jungle Book” series.  And they are seemingly aimed at younger children.

I feel personally more comfortable with writing them if they are offset, as in an Italian sonnet: So that lines 2 and 3 rhyme and lines 4 and 5, 6 and 7, etc.  I have never looked closely at why this is, when, apart from the first line, one is essentially doing the same thing as in writing lyrical couplets.  Still the feel seems different.

Now, the temptation here is for me to bypass this step and write a Shakespearean style sonnet–I can already see some options there (can you?)  Still, I will go thorough with the couplet exercise, because after all, that is the point of this project: namely to create something accessible.  I think that I may go back to the previous version when it comes time for the step to write a different type of sonnet rather than to write one from the results of my ham-handed attempt at lyricism.

I have, to date, only written one other lyrical sonnet and it was from the point of view of a character in one of the series of stories I enjoy to write.  It was somehow easier to write while thinking of myself as someone else.

Perhaps if I could imagine myself as Lady Day, my lyrical couplet writing would improve 10 or 20 fold.  But I feel nothing short of that would do.  Still what follows will be/is my own humble attempt at such a thing.

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