Twisted Poetry

Poetry is a beautiful thing. I read it. I write it. I hear it. I recite it. But when rhythm and rhyme are used in a negative message, poetry chills me to the bone. As a child I could not hear Rock-a-Bye Baby without cringing. And when I had a child, I didn’t sing or read him nursery rhymes. Three Blind Mice; Wee Willie Winkie; Diddle, Diddle Dumpling, even Humpty Dumpty–all were off limits. He heard them from others, on television, and in books, but not from me. It was, and is, too frightening. And the more repetition I hear, the more trapped I feel. I feel physically and emotionally restrained, helpless, and horrified. All I can do is hold on until it passes, until the poetry stops, then deal with the cold sweat that sometimes results. It is one of my favorite things, poetry, working against me in a cruel twist of rhyming, rhythmic fate.

Nature’s poetry
twisted and mangled in death
is this beauty too?

For NaPoWriMo day 17, a Haibun for Toni’s “fear” prompt at

10 thoughts on “Twisted Poetry

  1. I have not experienced this one but I can fully empathize with your: cruel twist of rhyming, rhythmic fate. For me it was form poetry but I have learned to overcome it. Beauty is relative – for some it is, for some it’s deadly ~


  2. Your senryu at the end is incredible. I like it much better than a haiku in its place. How interesting that nursery rhymes cause you fear. I never did like them as a child and didn’t hear them much after my parents realized they made me squirm. A great write. Well done!


  3. That’s so true, Dr. Howe. London bridges falling down, ring around the rosy, pocket full of posies. They were indeed terrible events. It must have been kind of gruesome for those children living in those days to have to hear such tragic events put to rhyme.


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