Level One

1. Take three drafts of poems from your "Work in Progress" file and cast them in rhyme according to the precepts in the "Rhymer Primer" outline and using a rhyming dictionary and thesaurus.

(Note: If your drafts are already rhymed, revise the poems using new rhymes and you will be composing completely different drafts.) In each case, compare versions and ask yourself:

• Are the meanings of my poems changing simply to meet the rigors of rhyme or am I controlling meaning in my work?

• Am I coming up with new, interesting or unusual rhymes?

• Are the placements of my rhymes enhancing sound and meaning?

• Am I honoring the precepts of line and stanza when I use rhyme, or am I simply using rhyme to end a line and the rhyme scheme to determine my stanza breaks?

• Is the voice in my poem still aligned with subject matter and epiphany, or am I warping voice by using rhyme?

Discuss these elements of craft in your journal.

2. Review entries under slant rhyme, rising rhyme and falling rhyme in the "Rhymer Primer," studying the effects of each sound. Now select three ideas from your "Idea File" in which each of these rhymes would be appropriate and compose first drafts. (If you lack such ideas, devise them now and compose the drafts.)

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