Rhyme's Challenge offers a concise, pithy primer to hip-hop poetics while presenting a spirited defense of rhyme in contemporary American poetry. David Caplan's stylish study examines hip-hop's central but supposedly outmoded verbal technique: rhyme. At a time when print-based poets generally dismiss formal rhyme as old-fashioned and bookish, hip-hop artists deftly deploy it as a way to capture the contemporary moment. Rhyme accommodates and colorfully chronicles the most conspicuous conditions and symbols of contemporary society: its products, technologies, and personalities. Ranging from Shakespeare and Wordsworth, to Eminem and Jay-Z, David Caplan's study demonstrates the continuing relevance of rhyme to poetry-and everyday life.
David Caplan is Charles M. Weis Chair in English and Associate Director of Creative Writing at Ohio Wesleyan University. His previous books include Questions of Possibility: Contemporary Poetry and Poetic Form and the poetry collection In the World He Created According to His Will.
Introduction: Because It Rhymes ; Chapter 1 ; Reduced to Rhyme: Contemporary Doggerel ; Chapter 2 ; The Art of Rhymed Insult ; Chapter 3 ; Making Love in Mirrors: Hip-Hop Seduction Verse ; Chapter 4 ; The Inheritors of Hip Hop: Reclaiming Rhyme ; Conclusion ; Notes ; Index