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Genres & Age Categories => Picture Books (PB) => Topic started by: Mike Karg on August 25, 2014, 07:11 PM

Title: Non-rhyming PBs in perfect meter?
Post by: Mike Karg on August 25, 2014, 07:11 PM
Who can think of non-rhyming picture books in perfect meter? I've been studying the various meters and my current WIP decided to be iambic hexameter, with no rhyming. How odd is such a beast?
Title: Re: Non-rhyming PBs in perfect meter?
Post by: Robertvs on September 02, 2014, 03:12 AM
It's an interesting question. Unless there was a list of such books, I would have to basically scansion a book in order to realize it was in perfect meter. I'm sure it's a technique that has been done but to the reader it's not a conscious realization.

However, I'd suspect that lots of works have uncanny good rhythm. For example:
Quote from: Beatrix Potter
Once upon a time
there were four little Rabbits,
and their names were:

Flopsy,
Mopsy,
Cotton-tail,
and Peter.
Now, I might have missed a syllable (and thus the whole thing is wrong) but it's pretty good.
Title: Re: Non-rhyming PBs in perfect meter?
Post by: Debbie Vilardi on September 02, 2014, 08:24 AM
It can be done, and it will sell if you really do it well. I can't think of an example, but I'm sure they must exist. Take a look at the works of Eric Carle: Hungry caterpillar, Busy Spider and the like. They might fit this. They definitely have rhythm; I'm just not sure it is perfectly metered or planned that way.
Title: Re: Non-rhyming PBs in perfect meter?
Post by: DianaM on September 02, 2014, 09:10 AM
That's called blank verse. It's common for adult poetry but I've never seen it used for children's poetry.

Text with a strong rhythm would be great! But perfect iambic hexameter with no end rhymes? Might sound a little weird for children's poetry--because the reader would really be expecting a rhyme.

If you can't get it to rhyme, I think you should lose the tight meter.

Just my opinion! Nothing wrong with experimenting.


Title: Re: Non-rhyming PBs in perfect meter?
Post by: Mike Karg on September 02, 2014, 06:19 PM
I posted it in the manuscript exchange:
https://www.scbwi.org/boards/index.php?topic=73500.new#new

It certainly was fun to experiment with meter. I started it in prose but it became a way to teach myself meter. When I attempted rhyming before, it was a mess because I didn't understand rhythm. Now that I have a better sense of it (although I still struggle with identifying which meter is used in others' writing), I can see how plugging in rhymes is much easier as a final step rather than trying to do it early on.

My hope as it is, without rhyme, is that even if the reader doesn't realize it is in meter, that it flows nicely-and isn't that really the point of it anyway?
Title: Re: Non-rhyming PBs in perfect meter?
Post by: DianaM on September 02, 2014, 07:31 PM
Yes, absolutely. I think you should go with your gut. I was only speaking generally and not specifically about your piece.

I just wanted to point out that if you aren't rhyming, you might want to consider going with free verse. Lots of great examples of free verse in children's books.

I clicked to read your poem and the lack of rhyming seems to fit the tone, actually. And it does read more like free verse. It has a lovely, lyrical quality!