Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Rhyme & Reason | The beauty of nonsense rhyme

I’ve never seen Vincent miss a single poetry night since I started attending the events, albeit on and off,  over the last two years. He comes in with a notebook, sits by himself and starts writing words that catch his fancy. It could be discussions taking place around him or headlines of the day that have public panties in a twist. When called upon to perform, he refers to these words and strings them into verses that rhyme, at times including some nonsense words just to rhyme for the sake of rhyming.

I don’t quite get his poetry but the regulars look forward to his performances tremendously. But while I’ve gotten used to him now, I still find it difficult to appreciate him. But then again, I never quite appreciated ee cummings. Criticised for his non-sense verse, cummings was an annoying poet who refused write requisite format expected of poetry as an art and good grammar in general. Here’s an example:

Buffalo Bill by ee cummings
Buffalo Bill's
        who used to
        ride a watersmooth-silver
and break onetwothreefourfive pigeonsjustlikethat
he was a handsome man
                      and what i want to know is
how do you like your blueeyed boy
Mister Death

After having met Vincent – rhyme, thyme, fine, grind – I really think I need to give cummings too another chance. You see, poetry is like that curious mole that grows on you and when it’s done looking cute, sexy and becoming, it starts to sprout little hairs that make you want to scratch it off with a knife. But if you just let it be and get used to the sight of it, sooner or later you don’t mind it so much. If you’re a bit of a bold one, appreciative of the unconventional idea of beauty, you might even fall in love with its imperfection.

In other news: Our very own Reshma Krishnan also read at the poetry night. She recited The Honeycomb World inspired by John Connoly's novel, The Killing Kind and she's written a brand new poem that'll be published tomorrow on condition that you call her a freakshow. True story.


  1. I hope you are not pandering to the sorts of people who write poetry that doesnt rhyme. That sort of thing is just not done!

  2. I would first like to point out that we do NOT pander. Pander means indulging something which is in direct opposition to what we believe in which we never do. For instance we do not subscribe to spreading malicious gossip even though it would get us an incredible amount of hits or discuss why Aishwariya Rai should now lose weight even though it would garner us more hits.

    We believe writers and all artists have the creative license to write poetry however they please because THEY are writing it. We will not go into a discussion on the evolution and merits of free verse or even point you towards Carol Ann Duffy who is the English poet laureate. That would be futile considering you have decided to write to us anonymously and therefore do not believe in an open discussion. - Afsha Khan and Reshma Krishnan



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