What better way to spend a February winter’s eve than discussing writing, rhyme, and the creative arts? The event? An on-line Craft Chat” hosted by the Write Group, a community of writers from all genres, and led by two devoted wordsmiths, reg e gaines and me. Our theme was “Rhyme a la Sondheim” and in a lively give-and-take, our little band of crafty chatters covered the waterfront:
Memorable rhymes delight—and surprise: reg kicked off the evening with a spirited performance of a catchy passage in a song from Into the Woods. The song’s clever rhyme scheme not only propels the story forward, it’s also surprising, reg noted. Predictable rhyme schemes are well…predictable. Surprising rhyme schemes and lyrics offer freshness and delight. They also compel close listening.
Well-crafted rhymes endure: I managed to recite a couple of verses from Oklahoma’s “The Surrey with the Fringe on Top,” which I remembered from a long-ago ballet performance— gold-dusted tutu and all!—which I memorized in about second grade. Something about the lilting lyrics just captured me and stayed with me. Other crafty crafters also recalled performances of musicals they’d attended in the distant past and the enduring appeal of their songs.
Rhyming is back in fashion: Rhyming has its lovers and detractors. For quite a while, reg observed, it wasn’t receiving much love. But with intrepid supporters, and fueled by high-octane rap and hip hop lyrics, it’s back. Thank goodness!
Words have work to do: Here’s a question worth pondering that cropped up: How much emotional energy does writing evoke compared to music, dance, and the visual arts? Can writing hold its own, or is it by its very nature more cerebral and therefore, less immediate? I’m with Coleridge: “What comes from the heart, goes to the heart.”
Exploring creativity and craft—what better way to fuel our enthusiasm as we all write on?
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