Catch a Little Rhyme

Eve Merriam

Eve Merriam

Eve Merriam was a poet, playwright, director, and lecturer. Born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, on July 19, 1916, she attended Cornell University, University of Pennsylvania, University of Wisconsin, Columbia University, and has has taught and lectured at many other institutions. Her first book, Family Circle, was selected for the Yale Series of Younger Poets by Archibald MacLeish. She also published a highly controversial book Inner City and the Mother Goose, which is one of the top most banned books of all time. She has also won many awards for being a good person. In 1981, she was named the winner of the NCTE Award for Excellence in Poetry for Children. She died on April 11, 1992.

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Theme of the Poem

Sometimes they are clear to us, but sometimes they vanish before we can get a firm grasp on them. This poem is deceptively simple. Each stanza is a couplet and the rhyming pattern is AA,BB,CC, ETC. It sounds as if a six-year old wrote it. But if you examine it closely, you can see that each stanza follows the same pattern of thought. The first line presents an idea, and the second line changes it into something else. Our imaginations can create anything and change it into anything else. It is not limited by the realities of the world. And maybe that is why it can change so easily, and why the thought vanishes so easily.
OK Go - This Too Shall Pass - Rube Goldberg Machine - Official Video

Key Line Interpretation

In the poem by Eve Merriam it resembles the qualities of a dream and disappointment at the end of the poem. The last line "It grew into a kite and flew far from sight," leaves a taste of disappointment in which the person who chased this rhyme or dream wants to imagine living with this rhyme instead it flies far away and the narrator can never reach it. The dream-like qualities of turning into a goat or a whale or a cat leave the reader wondering if it is just a dream that the author wishes he/she could get. Another key line is the idea of first catching the rhyme and it escapes. This line means that people at one point or another have caught a rhyme and let it escape and the dream they once had has vanished. The poem sounds like it was written by a sixth grader, but in actuality it has a much deeper meaning.

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