Tuesday, 13 December 2016

'Tis the season - for rhymes

The Christmas season is full upon us, but why on earth does everything suddenly have to rhyme? Adverts are the worst culprits, forcing all their wording into tortuous rhymes and half rhymes without any real attempt to make it scan - or even make sense.

I blame Clement Clarke Moore, the author of Twas the Night Before Christmas which in itself is pleasing enough but hardly the the most poetic piece of writing. This seems to have given any advertising agency free licence to do their own version of this for their Christmas offerings.

Let's be honest, the original is pretty twee in itself. Doing a substandard version of it (and they invariably are) really isn't going sound pretty and indeed they don't, typically involving a few words with their pronunciation tortured to breaking point to make them fit, or grammar or sense abandoned just to get the required word at the end of the line.

I'm guessing that between Twas the Night and the rhyming couplets that abound in Christmas cards, this kind of thing is seen as acceptable and in some way part of the spirit of Chrismas. But as with most things, if you can't do it properly don't bother to do it at all.

There are any number of excellent poets out there who I'm sure would be happy to have a commission for something that is actually poetic and captures the Christmas spirit far more effectively. But they have an annoying habit of actually producing poetry not just forced rhyming doggerel.

There's no wonder that people say things like "I don't like poetry." This time of year is ideal to get some quality poetry heard but instead they get this instead.

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