Lazy Bee Scripts
A verse to which we are averse

A Zero-tolerance Approach to Rhyme
There was an old man of St Bees
Who was stung in the arm by a wasp
When they said: 'Does it hurt?'
He replied: 'No, it doesn't —
I'm so glad it wasn't a hornet!'

- W.S. Gilbert
This page is a warning and guideline for anyone wishing to submit poetry or song lyrics
to Lazy Bee Scripts as part of a play script.

The short and obvious answer is "no" - see, for example, the Limerick parody above.  However, if something is supposed to rhyme, then it should rhyme, and rhyme perfectly.  In fact, we will not publish it unless we are satisfied with the quality of the verse!
Why this emphasis on rhyming?
Poetry is an art form. It should be carefully crafted to look effortless.  If the reader is forever tripping over careless inconsistencies, it reduces the reader's pleasure and makes it look as though poetry is something that anyone can do.  (And if you think anyone can do it, why are you bothering?)  Make the effort to be exceptional!
But there are plenty of published songs with lines that don't rhyme...
Yes, there is a lot of shoddy poetry in the world. We see no need for you to add to it!
If you are doing something for comic effect, then a strained rhyme can be very funny. So if you're trying to be funny, that's fine.  If you're just writing bad verse, forget it.
Some examples of bad rhymes
  • The letter M does not rhyme with the letter N. If it did, there would be no point in having two letters. "Cane" does not rhyme with "Lame". It never has and it never will.
  • In English, the letter S at the end of words is never silent. In consequence, a singular, ending without S will never rhyme with a plural which ends in S. "Brain" rhymes with "Train". It does not rhyme with "Trains".
  • If you are rhyming weak verbs, then the tenses need to match. (The present tense of "talk" rhymes with the present tense of "walk", their past tenses rhyme with each other, but their present tenses do not rhyme with their past tenses!)
Regional Rhymes
I come from the north of England, but spent a long time living and working in the south. The regional accents are different, and occasionally I fall over things that are natural rhymes to me, but not to a speaker of the southern dialect, or vice versa.
The general guideline here is that if your verse is supposed to have a regional accent, then the rhyming should be consistent with the verse of that region, however if it is supposed to be useable by any form of spoken English, then try to avoid regional traps.
The classic example of a regional trap is "Castle", a very useful word in heroic verse!
  • In northern (and US) English, it is pronounced "cass-el" and rhymes with "hassle"
  • In southern English, it is pronounced "car-sel" and rhymes with "parcel"
(I blame the Elector of Hanover.)

See also
Publishing Overview
Submission Process

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