Dennis Haskell will be one of the featured poets at the Perth Poetry Festival for 2017. For Festival details see: https://wapoets.wordpress.com/perth-poetry-festival/2017-festival-poets-biographies/
Amongst other activities Dennis will conduct a workshop on “The Possibilities of Rhyme”:
The Possibilities of Rhyme
This workshop follows my talk for the 2016 Poetry Festival and looks at the possibilities of rhyme for contemporary poets. Rhyme over the last one hundred years has had a checkered career; it was abjured during the Modernist period and afterwards, beginning with T S Eliot and Ezra Pound’s call for a revolution in the writing of verse. Eliot wrote, “it is possible that excessive devotion to rhyme has thickened the English ear” and that “When the comforting echo of rhyme is removed, success or failure in the choice of words, in the sentence structure, in the order, is at once more apparent”. Eliot and Pound later tried to turn back the tide but couldn’t, so that free verse has been the dominant form of English poetry for over a century.
This has been less true in English verse than in American and Australian, suggesting that social conditions have an effect on the usability of rhyme. We live in an age of pop music and advertising slogans, which help make strong rhymes jingle in our ears. Rhyme is prominent in rap and in slam poetry but this workshop is concerned with poetry written principally to be read on the page. Rhyme is part of the music of language and has possibilities beyond strong rhyme, in part-rhyme, internal rhyme and assonance that can add significantly to the power of a contemporary poem.
The workshop will begin with consideration of what some recent and contemporary poets have done with rhyme, and then consider participants’ work. You are asked to submit (beforehand if possible) one short poem that does not rhyme and/or one short poem that does.