In Spanish we can say "Hice verso sin esfuerzo", which means something along the lines of "I made a rhyme without effort", whilst rhyming.

What would be an English equivalent of this phrase?

I've come up with a couple of variations, a couple of weeks ago, but they weren't really valid English or had to do with effort, I don't think.

  • 12
    You're a poet and don't know it. – Jim Aug 17 '14 at 16:36
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    @Jim Beat me by 2 seconds! – StoneyB on hiatus Aug 17 '14 at 16:36
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    I'm a poet and didn't know it. – Andrew Leach Aug 17 '14 at 16:50
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    @JohnLawler That only rhymes in standard Spanish because Spanish rhyming is assonant: it only cares about vowels not any involved consonants. Verso is /ˈβ̞eɾso/ compared with esfuerzo /esˈfweɾθo/. That’s why in “Canción del jinete”, Lorca could rhyme Jaca negra, luna grande, / y aceitunas en mi alforja. / Aunque sepa los caminos, / yo nunca llegaré a Córdoba. In assonant rhyme, alforja and Córdoba rhyme. See all of Lorca’s other pieces in his Romancero Gitano for virtually infinite examples of this. – tchrist Aug 17 '14 at 16:53
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    @tchrist Thanks for the explanation. :) Yes English and Spanish have different ideas of what makes a rhyme rhyme. – greduan Aug 17 '14 at 17:08

If you don’t mind some witless doggerel that may not suit the next inaugural:

        I make a rhyme             up all the time
        In easy verse                  that’s good and terse.
        They take no thought,   these words I’ve wrought;
        Though poets curse,      it could be worse.

I must confess to some ambivalence in seeking out the best equivalents.

  • 2
    Holy crap those are really good! My favorite being the third as it's the closest to the original Spanish version, IMO. Thanks! I'll just check back in a couple of days to check if somebody has a better version, if they don't I will accept yours. :) – greduan Aug 18 '14 at 2:20
  • All right, looks line nobody has more of these. I'll accept your question, thanks! :) – greduan Aug 21 '14 at 13:16
  • @Greduan You can think of the posted text in a variety of flexible fashions. I did not originally intend it to be four separate answers, but just a single quatrain. That why I rhymed good and terse with could be worse. However, the internal masculine rhyme in feet 2 and 4 of each line of iambic tetrameter makes them potentially usable individually, like your Spanish example had. Lines 1, 3, and 4 could each stand on their own, or lines 1+2 could stand alone as a couplet. Plus the inner quatrain nests in an outer one whose last foot is instead a dactyl in feminine rhyme. – tchrist Aug 21 '14 at 17:28
  • The amount of, I assume grammatical words you just said has given me a lot to study. lol I did not realize it was a quatrain (a word I just learnt), reading it like that makes it sound very good. After looking at the dictionary for a bit you are basically telling me which lines I could use and also you are explaining how you made the quatrain. Is this correct? Sorry I am inept in poetry. – greduan Aug 21 '14 at 17:51
  • @Greduan Yes, that’s essentially right; they’re poetic terms, some from Greek. I intentionally wrote the outer quatrain’s two couplets straight out without a linebreak and in non-italic, so that it might not be so obvious upon first reading that there was something trickier going on. Read both the English and Spanish versions of this Wikipedia article, and definitely check out Stephen Fry’s referenced The Ode Less Travelled: Unlocking the Poet Within if you can get your hands on a copy. It’s short but very witty, per his wont. – tchrist Aug 21 '14 at 18:02

As has been mentioned in comments, "I'm a poet and didn't know it" is a common enough phrase.

  • Yup, thanks. :) It doesn't quite carry the message I'm looking for though, so I'll just keep this open for a couple of days to see if somebody comes up with another rhyme for it. :) – greduan Aug 17 '14 at 21:49

It took no time to type this rhyme.

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