Does harm rhyme with warm?

  Are you a rhyming purist? Whether it's reading or writing poetry, I'm sure you've encountered words that don't exactly rhyme and there are three reasons I can find for that. Reason One: The Rhyme vs The Original Idea Last week someone told me the Lord's Prayer, in the original spoken aramaic, could well have rhymed. When translated into written Greek (then Latin, German, English etc.) the meaning was far more important than keeping the rhyming aspect, with good reason, but in our writing which is more important - the rhyme or the reason? Here's a verse from a book of mine and two options I had to choose between.  "Sometimes God will guide you Protect you from harm Sometimes He'll provide you With.... " What would you put in here? Would you put in an almost rhyme like '...strength to go on' which reflects the sentiment, even if it doesn't rhyme?  Or would you go with something else like '...strength in your arm' which is a purer rhyme but now I have to ask the illustrator to draw something to make the words make sense. Otherwise, it's like I chose the words because they rhymed, rather than because they were the best words for the idea I was trying to express. Or would you keep thinking until you found something that does both, even if it means abandoning your original idea which you loved so much?  Reason Two: Regional Accents One of the things that made me choose the exact rhyme (in your arm), rather than the idea (to go on), is accents. In my accent, harm and go on rhyme vaguely enough to get away with it. But what about if I try to say it with a welsh, northern irish, geordie, scottish, cockney, cornish, scouse, essex etc. etc. Not to mention international accents. It wasn't worth the risk.  Unfortunately, even an exact rhyme isn't always fool proof. I frequently encounter this problem with words like 'barge' and 'garage' or 'hone' and 'scone'. In the book 'The Smartest Giant in Town' you'll find 'scarf' is supposed to rhyme with 'giraffe'. What ryhmes in Hampstead doesn't always rhyme in Sheffield! Reason Three: Traditional Poetry I'm working on another poem for children and the first idea that popped into my head rhymes harm with warm... Hmmm.. is that allowed?  A quick skim through my copy of 'The Penguin Book of Romantic Poetry' reveals many 'rhyming' words that are spelt the same but pronounced differently and it seems to be allowed. Watches & hatches, goods & broods, come & home are just three examples.  I could probably get away with using 'warm/harm' if it were an adult's poem but as it's for children, I have to wonder, will they read that and exclaim "That doesn't rhyme!" or should I leave it in as 'educational'? Unfortunately, I may have to scrap the whole verse and start again which seems such a shame when it exactly expresses what I wanted to say. Such dilemmas! I would love to hear how you go about solving this problem.  In conclusion, I think I understand how non-rhyming poetry came into being....  Never ever try to writeIn a style that ...  ... don't feel right? might just bite? rhymes all the time?  Joanne Gilchrist is mother of 3 and runs the charity, Ruach Resources, which is the home of God for Kids app and the Animals of Eden Valley children's books. She also wrote the autobiographical "Looking for Love", "Next Steps to Following Jesus" for children and freelances for the SunScool app. I get my photos from

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