From early childhood, we grow up with rhymes and rhythms that embed themselves within us in the much same way that later on, lyrics from popular songs tend to do.
During my childhood, numerous family tales, frequently retold, took on an incantatory quality not dissimilar to prayer.
I sometimes wish I wrote less with rhyme because it seems to anchor me to a style of poetry that is no longer fashionable.
I do, however, find it stimulating to rise to the challenge of a strict rhyme scheme and the successful conclusion of such a poem provides a degree of satisfaction akin, I imagine, to what a mathematician must derive in solving a complex numerical challenge.
The trick is not to allow adherence to form to nullify the emotion that inspired the poem in the first place.
When we awoke the lake had turned to glass.
We ventured out into the crystal glare,
in rubber boots, through luminescent snow,
and were amazed, for nothing could surpass
the magic stillness of December air.
On glinting ice, young people skated slow,
their eyes, beneath their tousled hair, aglow.
Our exhaled breaths were visible; we laughed
to see bold skaters gliding on the lake
as in warm summer evenings wild swans do,
white-sailed, austere, like splendid sailing craft
and, as we watched, there came a sudden ache
as I remembered, long ago we too
were young and fleet, before the wild swans flew.