I took a college level course in creative writing over the summer. A few hours of class were devoted to reading poetry. Except for two tokens poems by Robert Frost, they were all free verse.
I liked some of the free verse but personally, I have a fondness for the classics: Tennyson, Dickinson, Frost. Free verse reigned supreme in class though. A little bit of pompous literary bias going on, but I overlooked it.
Until we were told to write three poems. That was literally the extent of our instruction into writing poetry. I’ve made the foray into poetry a few times on this blog. Actually, it’s fauxetry because I have no idea how to write poetry. Except for the rhyming. I rhyme and meter with the best of them.
But rhyming was frowned upon. So I tried my hand at free verse. Words flowed out of me, oh so prettily and ornately, and to my credit, not one of them rhymed. And I thought maybe I had some good stuff, until I got this advice from someone who is into poetry:
“Free verse is very complicated and hard to write. You really don’t know what you’re doing. Stick to rhymes and meter.”
Ouch. The message from all corners seemed to be: lesser poets rhyme. And that offended me. So this is the poem I turned in for class, written in bitterness from the depths of my offended heart:
I have a muse:
It’s Dr. Seuss.
His lyrical rhymes
Are not obtuse.
Poems that rhyme
Can be sublime,
Though not now in vogue:
Tennyson, Dickinson, in their time.
Rhyme’s just a game
For ignorant babes.
So, who’s to blame?
Hangs by a noose,
My poet friend was not impressed.
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