“When you see someone with a cane / That person’s probably in pain.”

These lines are clearly verse, and the proposition they assert is true. But they are not in the least poetry, for they are totally literal: there is nothing of fiction in them. Even the one possible trace of the nonliteral that might lurk therein – that pain and cane appropriately rhyme because feeling the first might lead one to use the second – is totally glossed into triviality by the simple literal truth of the statement.

Rhyme’s Reason – John Hollander

Cane and pain


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