Creating Poetry With Rhythm And Rhyme

Poetry is greatly enjoyed by our readers, and as Poetry Editor I’m always on the lookout for appealing new poems. We publish a wide selection regularly in our weekly magazine, our Specials, our “Friend” annual and not least, in our Friendship Book and our Fireside Book annuals. In fact, the latter publication features numerous poems complemented by beautiful watercolour illustrations which reflect the many moods and subjects of the verses. So, you see, there are a lot of different publications produced from our office for poets to consider when creating new verses for us!

We prefer verse to rhyme and scan as naturally as possible, although we make occasional concessions to other styles, such as a free verse style if the content is strong enough. Longer poems sit well in our Fireside Book, while we prefer shorter poems for our weekly magazine and our Specials, usually up to a maximum length of twelve lines in total. Space and content have both to be taken into consideration when I’m choosing suitable poems. Check out our poetry guidelines.

Creating Poetry For Us

Maggie Ingall has been speaking to me recently about the attraction of rhyming poetry and how she creates it for the “Friend”. I’m sure that you’ll enjoy sharing her insights into her world of poetry. And, who knows, perhaps you may even feel inspired to create a poem for us?

“I imagine that, like many of us, I was first attracted to poetry by its rhythm and rhyme. Even when I didn’t quite understand it (and works such as Lewis Carroll’s ‘Jabberwocky’ spring to mind!), I still found that reading poetry was a most enjoyable experience. I suppose that it was only natural that I should eventually begin trying to write it myself.

“And as much as I enjoy and admire reading free verse, I’ve never felt drawn to writing it in the same way that I’m attracted to rhyme. There is something wonderfully satisfying in finding exactly the right word to complete a line! And inspiration can come in many forms. Sometimes it arrives from finding myself in a particular situation, or admiring a beautiful view, but my imagination is just as likely to be sparked by such humdrum things as waiting for the bus, or even cleaning out a cupboard! And once I have a first line in my head, it’s easy to take it from there.

“The great thing about writing for ‘The People’s Friend’, ‘The Friendship Book’ and ‘The Fireside Book’, is that it allows me to share my thoughts with so many other people, who do indeed feel like friends, even if we’ve never actually met. And who would not appreciate seeing their poems illustrated so perfectly? I can’t help feeling that I’m a very lucky lady!”

Over To You!

If you’d like to share a small selection of your poetry writing with us (as long as it has not been published elsewhere), write to me at this address: Alison Cook, Poetry Editor, The People’s Friend, 2 Albert Square, Dundee DD1 9QJ. I look forward to hearing from you!



Alison Cook