Category Archives: books

New Price!

The Bearded Poet’s Visions is now available for only $0.99!
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Collecting the three previous Visions books (Visions and Vexations, Visions of Beauty and Friendship, and Visions of Meaning and Manhood), with an additional 432-line narrative poem in the style of Spenser’s Faerie Queen, Visions contains 45 of the Bearded Poet’s poems.
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Visions is currently only available on Kindle (pester me if you would like to see a print version), and subscribers to Kindle Prime can borrow the book for free.
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Rhyme and The Merchant’s Daughter

There is a popular conceit among the university crowd that rhymed verse is not proper poetry. This emperor-without-clothes group pretends that rhyme changes an exalted emotional expression into a sing-song doggerel fit only for the unwashed masses. For my own part, I think this is a clever fiction that enables wannabes who cannot write decent rhyme to excuse their inability. (You can image that members of this crowd and I don’t get along very well.)

Rhyme may be written well, or badly. Exactly what constitutes well is some matter of taste; although there are certain rules (patterns, suggestions, and advisements that have developed out of the collective experience of the ages) which tend to encourage better rhyme. Still, not every rule is pleasant to every person; and the particular amount of rhyme a poet wishes to use may vary greatly between one kind of poem and another. One may rhyme couplets, or rhyme every other line, or every third; one may use intervals of 4 beats or 5 or even 7; one may use internal rhyme or polysyllabic rhyme–options abound, and what delights one person may grate on another.

But I have found that what people think is grating in the abstract may turn out to delight them in the practice. That is, one person who says they don’t care for much rhyme in poetry may nevertheless discover a heavily-rhymed poem that they like. Such as the following:

The Merchant’s Daughter

I enjoy my weekly visit to the merchant in the square:
His company is affable, his dealings always fair.
(He has a daughter also; she is excellently fair.)
I enjoy my weekly visit to the merchant in the square.

His daughter helps him with his work, and ever with a smile;
And when your trade is through she’ll talk with you a little while
(Or maybe even longer, too, if you indulge her wile).
His daughter helps him with his work, and ever with a smile.

I’m certain she’s a blessing to her father in his trade.
She honors all his labors and she praises all he’s made.
(And people come to him, I’m certain, just to see the maid.)
I’m certain she’s a blessing to her father in his trade.

In charm she quite surpasses all my words could ever tell.
She’s such a darling little maid; I hope she marries well.
(Though not to me—for I’m already wed, with kids as well.)
In charm she quite surpasses all my words could ever tell.

I like to see her happy; in enjoyment of her days;
I pray for her a blessing no misfortune could efface.
(Is it just because she smiles at me and has a pretty face?)
I like to see her happy; in enjoyment of her days.

My neighbor has a daughter, too, who heeds his good command.
Not beautiful, but dutiful, she is his own right hand.
(I don’t think I have talked with her although she’s close at hand.)
My neighbor has a daughter, too, who heeds his good command.

I wish the merchant’s daughter well; surely as I ought.
But my neighbor’s goodly daughter interests me not.
(Remember I am married, so all this to me is naught.)
I wish the merchant’s daughter well; surely as I ought.

And that’s a thought to think when with the merchant in the square:
Deficient is my kinsman-love, which only loves the fair.
(Today I’ll see my neighbor, and discover how it fares.)
Oh may I love my neighbor as the merchant in the square.

The above poem is one of the 45 poems printed in Visions, available on Amazon Kindle.
In the meantime, you can read a few more samples here, here, and here.

Visions now available on Kindle!

Collecting the three previous Visions books (Visions and Vexations, Visions of Beauty and Friendship, and Visions of Meaning and Manhood), with an additional 432-line narrative poem in the style of Spenser’s Faerie Queen, Visions contains 45 of the Bearded Poet’s poems.
Visions is currently only available on Kindle (pester me if you would like to see a print version) for only $2.99, and subscribers to Kindle Prime can borrow the book for free.