Writing Exercise - the rhyme royal

Saturday, 25 July 2015

As some of you may be aware, I’m currently compiling an anthology of poetry, Coming Together: In Verse.  The call for submissions is listed here: http://ashleylisterauthor.blogspot.co.uk/2015/05/call-for-submissions-coming-together-in.html

James I of Scotland
For those of you wanting to submit, but lacking inspiration or ideas, below you’ll find one of the poetry writing exercises I’ve previously shared on the blog for the Erotic Readers and Writers Association (http://erotica-readers.blogspot.co.uk). I'm going to try and share them here on a weekly basis until we reach the deadline date.

The rhyme royal (sometimes called the rime royale by those who prefer to spell things incorrectly) is a fairly straightforward poetic form.

It refers to a stanza of seven lines, each line containing ten syllables, and the whole poem following a rhyming pattern of a b a b b c c. The form, according to the Poetry Foundation, was popularized by Geoffrey Chaucer and termed “royal” because his imitator, James I of Scotland, employed this structure in his own verse.

Here’s an example of one I wrote earlier.


We talk about our plans for this evening
Things we’d love to do when at our leisure
I long to give your sexual bells a ring:
Thrill you with a night you’ll always treasure.
In return you give a choice of pleasure
But I care not if you swallow or spit
I’m happy if you put your mouth round it.

Note that there are ten syllables per line. This isn’t iambic pentameter. This is merely ten syllables per line. Writing in iambs might make for something more profound but, as regular readers of these exercises will be aware, I am an exceptionally superficial poet.

One of the many fun things about this form is that the stanzas can be used to form verses in a longer poem. This is the way Chaucer used it in his work and we can see examples of this in Wyatt, Auden and many others.

I pluck your pubes from twixt my teeth and smile
The taste of you still lingers on my lips
Your scent’s a mem’ry that’s made to beguile
I yearn to squirm beneath your fingertips
And play with toys like canes and crops and whips
And savour pleasures borne beyond belief
Then pluck more pubes from in between my teeth

If you do want to submit to the current anthology, information can be found on: http://ashleylisterauthor.blogspot.co.uk/2015/05/call-for-submissions-coming-together-in.html

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