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Poetry Pleases: Advice To A Budding Poet

John Ayling has some advice in verse for would-be poets.

Rhyme, rhythm and harmony,
These go to make up poetry.
With one of the first two you may dispense
Provided lines scan and make good sense
But if of both you should dispose
You'll end up writing poetic prose.

By the second couplet should not be inferred
That one should abstain from the absurd,
For which of us has not enjoyed
The satire Edward Lear employed.
But humorous verse as a rule,
should restrain itself by symmetry.

Write as it comes, let the spirit move
(That's inspiration), then improve.
And as composition's both craft and art
I'd have you learn your own by heart,
By reciting it you'll soon detect
Errors that you'd least suspect.

For poetry to play its part
As shorthand for the eye and heart,
Be succinct, with care deploy
Selected words which you'd employ:
While with varied rhyme and with a syncopated metre
You might even make the dullest verse sound that little bit sweeter.

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