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 non-fiction children’s 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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