I first learned of clipped verse (sometimes called fragmented rhyme) back in 2007 when I was introduced to children’s author Verla Kay’s powerful historical nonfiction book, Rough, Tough Charley. The book is about Charley Parkhurst, one of the most respected stagecoach drivers in the old West: six-horse stagecoach / bounds along / Charley reins up / flicks a thong / Ladies gossip / “Charley’s odd / Don’t like people / then they nod. It wasn’t until his death that people discovered he was a she: Hold your horses / Huge surprise . . . / He’s a woman in disguise.
In clipped verse, complete sentences (and prepositions) are ignored and replaced with a strict clipped meter resulting in a sing-song verse that’s great fun to read aloud.
It’s April and with spring comes strong winds and kite season! Here’s a children’s poem for a windy day that I wrote in clipped verse.
KITE DAY Cut the paper, Stretch it tight, Cross the sticks, Build a kite. Long tail tying, Ribbon, bow Spacing, placing In a row. Mixing, fixing Paint surprise, Golden glowing Dragon eyes. Whirling, swirling Windy fun. Let the string out, Ready, run! Dipping, darting, Ride the sky. Flapping, clapping, See it fly! © Danna Smith at poetrypop.com all rights reserved
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