Half rhymes

Half rhymes on a distant love: variation on an ode.

 

If words must be my lips, I’ll speak to you,

And covet you with whispers to the skin.

Though this may be the kiss that just won’t do,

It must do ’til then.

 

If memories are hands, remove the glove:

And let me glide the wonders of your face

With gentlest touch. Though this is not the love

That stands so close,

 

If distance is the passion, send me far

And wide away, to will that passion great:

If absence is the fondest, I won’t fear

That furthest place,

 

And if words must be my lips, I’ll write them slow,

And covet them like whispers to your skin.

Though this may be the kiss that just won’t do,

It must do ’til then.

 

I do love a good ode don’t I? This is really about the conflict between a desire for intimacy and the somewhat disappointing reality of separation. Written words must replace kisses, memories must replace sensations. 

I’m also a big fan of half-rhymes, which of course sounds a bit like either cheating or making a half-arsed job of the thing. But they can be just as powerful, musical and resonant as proper rhymes, and were a favourite for a good number of actual, like, respectable poets such as Wilfred Owen. They also help to avoid endless unimaginative rhymes for “love.” Dove. Above. They make me sick, they do. Although I ended up with “glove” in this one, so there goes my credibility. 

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