Giving Up Rhyming For A Year

I think, for the year, I will write in prose only; no rhyme and no meter, no scansion, no verse. Iambic pentameter? Perish the notion! We’ll see if my writing gets better… or worse.

A year without sonnets, or ballads, or limericks; a year without couplets or bad villanelles; a year when my thoughts must be written, unfiltered by badly-forced rhymes jammed in metrical shells.

I’ve posted in quatrains; I’ve posted in couplets; I’ve posted a few in a form of my own. I’ve written more verse than I care to remember, in forms more diverse than most people have known! But now, for one year, I will change up my thinking; I’ll curb my obsession with meter and rhyme.

Or maybe I won’t, cos this “try it a year” bit is silly, and simply a waste of my time.


  1. jstackpo says

    There once was a professor from D***mouth (?)
    Who couldn’t keep a rhyme in his mouth.
    He’s set out a lay,
    But the urge to play
    Would make all his utterances uncouth.

    (At least it is a visual rhyme.)

  2. embertine says

    I clicked on this headline, fanning myself with a copy of BDSM Crochet Weekly*, ready to bewail in outrage such a ridiculous decision.

    Luckily, I am so used to going into Rhyming Reading Mode when perusing your posts that I spotted your little scam straight away.

    Clever, Cuttle, but not clever enough. *narrows eyes*

    *possibly not a real magazine

  3. embertine says

    True, but you get points for knowing that a double L is usually pronounced as a Y.

    I’m looking at YOU, people of Versailles, Kentucky. *side-eye*

  4. Cuttlefish says

    Ohio, also, embertine. That used to be the shibboleth the border guards used (coming in from Canada) when they found out we were from Ohio. Took me the longest time to realize that *wasn’t* the normal pronunciation!

  5. mck9 says

    There once was a poet so terse
    He never would finish a verse.
    He said with a scoff,
    “If I finished one off,

  6. Hercules Grytpype-Thynne says

    I also just found out I mispronounce “villanelles”. So I had to re-write a bit.

    Also you apparently pronounce “limerick” as two syllables.

  7. says

    As an appreciator of poetry who has written very little for a period at least as long …. I don’t know what you’ll gain. Your prose is certainly not mangled or incomprehensible any time I’ve read it.

  8. Cuttlefish says

    Hercules Grytpype-Thynne: I actually pronounce “limerick” in a continuous range from 2, through a long 2, through a short 3, to 3 full syllables, depending on what the meter calls for. And “squirrel” in a similar range between 1 and 2 syllables.

    I’m incorrigible.

  9. Cuttlefish says


    Reminds me of two of my favorites, though I cannot find an author to credit:

    There was a young man from Peru
    Whose limericks* stopped at line two


    There was a young man from Verdun

    *note: three syllables.

  10. rikitiki says

    There once was a cuttlefish, digital
    Whose rhymings were really original
    Then stopped for a year
    Worn out? Out of fear?
    Like Alice, we all were lacriminal

    (okay, so maybe not a correct version of ‘lacrimation’, but it does the bit…)

  11. rikitiki says

    Ha, change that last line to:

    Like Alice, we all were quite lacrimal

    (now I think it works)

  12. nobonobo says

    But your verse scans so smoothly with nary a hitch, Perhaps just a clause with a deft metric pause.*

    You do it so well. Please don’t stop completely.

    *there was a rhyme with pitch instead of pause but you don’t want to get me started. Puns don’t even know the groan potential.

  13. jstackpo says

    Has anyone picked up on what seemed to me right away to be an obvious reference to Pastor Ryan Bell’s announcement that he was going to ““do whatever [he] can to enter the world of atheism and live, for a year, as an atheist.” Here’s one or two of many reports…


    Makes as much sense as Cuttlefish thinking he could live in the world of prose for the same time. I immediately thought that the C-fish’s decision was actually inspired by
    Bell’s decision. And, of course, was a nice concise commentary upon it.

  14. echidna says

    I saw the connection to the Pastor’s year of atheism before I saw the rhyme. It scanned so well as prose in my head. It took a reread after chigau’s comment to catch it.

  15. says

    Oh, no, no, no,
    Say it ain’t so.
    Hah! Bet you can’t do it,
    That’s all there is to it.
    Your brain will not let you,
    Old habits will get you,
    Hide the rhymes to slur ’em,
    Run lines on to blur ’em,
    When you’re done, each time
    There’ll be a verse sublime,
    We your fans crave it,
    So don’t you waive it,
    Not for a year or a minute,
    Polemic must have poem in it,
    A yummy subtle dish
    By the incomparable Cuttlefish.


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