The Knack: How to write a poem
Never rhyme id with lid, advises Brian Patten
Saturday 21 June 1997
Is following a trauma-
(`Loved One Eaten By Llama!')
For verse that's McGonagally bad
Fall in love with a hopeless lad,
Or with a woman who, wholly unknowable,
Will have you writing
Verse like this.
But if you wish to be considered Serious
You must make the Average
And to boost the ego and to show
A wider knowledge of your Art
You must never rhyme the id with lid,
But choose instead the chromatid
And if you find that sight-rhymes bore
Then aim your sights at Arkansas.
But for poems that can make the closed heart sing,
For lines that are clear and that strike true.
Remind us of what we forgot we knew"
A new edition of `Mr Moon's Last Case', for which Brian Patten won a Mystery Writers of American Special Award, is published by Puffin Books on 26 June at pounds 4.99
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