For me, my favourite poems all have something of the ‘R’ factor. I think of them as the three ‘R’s: Rhythm and Rhyme and ‘Ah’.
Rhythm (or metre)
Whilst I get a natural enjoyment out of writing and reading poems with rhythm, I have only recently begun to realise that there are specific guidelines to poetic metres which can be learnt and which improve the feel of a poem, so I have included a page of basic guidance to help you achieve the same understanding.
Follow this link to see the difference that adding metre to a good poem can make. The poem is by Lucy, an 8 year old poet who attended one of my poetry workshops, and who gave me permission to make her fantastic poem fit a specific metre to see how it could improve it.
You may have noticed that I love rhyming poems. Let’s face it; we are all brought up on them. They are all around us; in lullabies as babies, nursery rhymes as toddlers, and playground chants as we get older. Rhyme is excellent for aiding the memory and adding some predictability, but also to add humour when we avoid the obvious rhyme and slip in something unexpected (see my alternative nursery rhymes).
Click on the following link to discover why rhyming is a good thing to encourage
The "Ah" Factor
With or without rhythm and rhyme, a poem can achieve something special when it connects with the reader’s emotions and deeper understanding. Try saying ‘ah’ in different ways and you'll realise that it can be an expression of gentle affection, fear, pain, sympathy, surprise, shock, realisation etc. These are all feelings that a good poet can create in the readers, especially by highlighting the use of the senses in their poetry.
Most of all though, I enjoy a poem that makes me say "Ah yes, I've never noticed that before, but it's true!"