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Poetry/uneven lines in rhyming poetry


Hello, Linda. My question is a little offbeat and one which I have tried to find answers too with little success. I am wondering if you know of any poets who wrote in rhyme using an uneven amount of lines in some versus of a poem. Perhaps most verses with four lines and sprinkled within, some versus with one or two more lines. Most people I speak to have said that all the versus of a rhyming poem must have an even number of lines to make it flow. I am wondering if this is actually true and who might be a famous writer who actually bucked this thinking. I would be grateful if you could point me to one such famous poet. Thank you for your time.

Dear Lee,

Perhaps the following poems demonstrate the quality you are searching for:  

Seamus Heaney’s “Blackberry-Picking”

Amy Lowell’s “Patterns"

Samuel Taylor Coleridges’s “Kubla Khan”

Hope this helps.


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Linda Sue Grimes -- Classic Poetry Aide


Please be aware that my field of expertise is "Classic Poetry." I do not study and write about Hallmark-Card type verse, doggerel, or pornographic versification.

I assist students/readers in understanding the poems most widely studied in high school and college English classes, for example, Emily Dickinson's "Because I could not stop for death," A. E. Housman's "Loveliest of trees," Robert Frost's "The Road Not Taken," W. B. Yeats' "The Second Coming," Rabindranath Tagore's "The Journey," Robert Hayden's "Those Winter Sundays," Dana Gioia’s "Words." I direct students/readers to online poetry analyses and/or research sources.

I do not dispense advice on creative writing issues, such as critiquing poems or offering ideas for poems.

Something controversial or provocative about this subject:

Poetry is not so difficult . . . but the claim that "a poem can mean anything you want it to mean" is absurd . . . while there may be room for interpretation, poems are not like clay that you can shape into anything your choose . . . poets express feelings, thoughts, experience . . . the notion that anything a poet writes is as malleable as a piece of modeling clay is insulting and demonstrates ignorance of what poetry, nay language itself, is all about . . . language--including poetry and all other art forms--is about communication . . . if you denigrate "meaning" as a component of poetry, you fail to communicate . . . failure to communicate begins with the lazy mind . . .


2003 - present AllExperts volunteer

2006 - 2015 Suite101, later called

2015 - present, writer at HubPages


Maya Shedd's Temple

1967 Miami University, B.A. Major in German

1971 Ball State University M.A. German/English

1984 Ball State University M.A. English

1987 Ball state University Ph.D. American, British, World Literature, Rhetoric and Composition

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