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Let's talk about Poetry - Rhyme and Cadence

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Posted on : 1:12 AM | By : Lyrics Express | In : , , , , , ,

Today I'm going to talk about poetry.

Oooh - excuse me... pardon me... Ahem, can I get through... (I hear it in the background as some of the audience tries to escape.)

WAIT! ---screeeeeech---- YOU LIKE MUSIC DON'T YOU?




The audience stops, dead in their tracks... and resign themselves to sitting down and listening. Good... Open receptive minds learn a hella lot more.

Take a moment to realize that POETRY - is what ALL songs really are. Poetry of music and words blended together. If you dig RAP, HipHop, Country, Rock, Choir tunes... Then you've probably read poetry or sung it out loud...

AND... If you REALLY REALLY REALLY like music on the radio and you catch yourself singing the lyrics in the shower... sounding like a howling cat in heat.... Then YOU PROBABLY are singing Poetry.

How is this possible?

Simple.

But ONE of the MOST IMPORTANT things about Poetry - especially in Lyrics - is CADENCE and RHYMING....

While not every poem rhymes - every poem has some sort of cadence.

Poetry is putting words together. And they don't always have to rhyme. Poetry eeks something from either the writer or the reader. (In your shower case... the attempting singer that you are... ahem.... remember your neighbors CAN hear you... and it's probably eeking out their anger...)

Poetry is simply this: WORDS

Usually words that mean something. Sometimes the words don't mean a lot to everyone, and sometimes the words are chaotic or flowery. Sometimes the words will tell a story - and sometimes they are just words that sound pretty (or *COOL*) together.

An example of simple poetry can be found in:

Roses are Red
Violets are Blue
Sugar is  Sweet
And so are you

In that simple example you have rhyming and cadence.

Rhyming is easy to explain - the sound of end of the word or whole words sounds similar or close to another word.

However CADENCE is a little  harder to explain simply.... Cadence is the beat of the lyric or poem using syllable beat - (you know - how many syllables are in a word...) But Cadence means so much more, too.

Here's Dictionary. com definition of CADENCE:


  • rhythmic flow of a sequence of sounds or words: the cadence of language.
  • (in free verse) a rhythmic pattern that is nonmetrically structured.
  • the beat, rate, or measure of any rhythmic movement: The chorus line danced in rapid cadence.
  • the flow or rhythm of events, esp. the pattern in which something is experienced: the frenetic cadence of modern life.
  • a slight falling in pitch of the voice in speaking or reading, as at the end of a declarative sentence.
  • the general modulation of the voice.
  • Music. a sequence of notes or chords that indicates the momentary or complete end of a composition, section, phrase, etc.


You with me so far? I'm going to discuss SYLLABLE BEAT for Cadence. I'm going to give you 2 completely ORIGINAL and RANDOM lines to demonstrate the concept of SYLLABLE beat in cadence.

Hmmmm.... uhhh ok... Dynasty... the word DYNASTY has 3 syllables. You do know what syllables are - correct?

So if you wanted to make a poem up with the word DYNASTY you would have to do something like this:

What Dynasty do I leave to you now

How many syllables was that? (just so you don't have to count on your fingers, it is 10)

So you have 10 syllables going on there. So now to make this into a CADENCE and RHYMING Poem - we need to make another line that rhymes and has the same cadence:

What Dynasty do I leave to you now
This world that holds you only upside down

OK - so now we have 2 lines that are RHYME and CADENCE perfect (yes... now and down are rhyming words to some degree - but that's a deeper topic and I don't want to go there in this short blurb about poetry.)

And with those 2 lines we can continue on - or we can change things  up. We can choose to maintain the strict 10 syllable cadence - or we can change it around. HOWEVER, if you do change the cadence around - you need to match it, make it "fit" so to speak.

Play with it a bit - and see what you come up with... Try MAKING it syllable Cadence perfect, and then... try  on purpose, throwing the syllable cadence out... Then LISTEN to it. See if it sounds "right" to your ears.

Poetry - while it often does NOT have  rules - the ONLY rule that matters is that it makes sense to YOU. You the writer.

See - cause Poetry is all about changing things up - feeling it... putting it out there.

Your favorite singer who either wrote their own lyrics or had someone write them - had to use CADENCE and POSSIBLY RHYMING in order to create their song lyrics... So that it could match a beat or music composition. When you listen to other people's songs, you'll find that cadence plays a very big part of it.

A small trick in the music industry for people who find it hard to write cadence perfect poetry (lyrics) is to stretch the voice longer - or to sing things quicker. Keep that in mind when you listen to your next couple of songs... The people who "naturally" have cadence can "flow" better than those who have to stretch or shorten the words... Trust me on this... It's a little known secret.

So now you've learned something...

Go back to your shower.... Start singing and yes... start counting syllables on your fingers. You will be surprised at what you just learned. And you'll be shampooing your head while you start thinking that all this "POETRY" stuff ain't so bad - after all.

Now get out there and WRITE!

If you need any poetry written for you - Lyrics written - or articles Written - Lyrics Express has Services that can be obtained by using the  CONTACT link at the top.



Don't forget about the current BEATMAKER Contest going on... 
Every week - a new beatmaker will be SHOWCASED here on Lyrics Express - 
for making a good beat out of an Obscure Song - 
and they will win a Free Lyric or Poem from Lyrics Express!

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