I Have a Muse. It’s Dr. Seuss.

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:

En Vogue

I have a muse:
It’s Dr. Seuss.
His lyrical rhymes
Are not obtuse.


Poetry, writing, rhyme

Real poets have stamps.

Poems that rhyme
Can be sublime,
Though not now in vogue:
Tennyson, Dickinson, in their time.


Critics claim:
Rhyme’s just a game
For ignorant babes.
So, who’s to blame?


Dr. Seuss
Hangs by a noose,
His genius
Pissed upon.

My poet friend was not impressed.


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5 comments on “I Have a Muse. It’s Dr. Seuss.

  1. Your poet friend sounds like they have a stick up their… anyways, I love your piece 🙂 Also, free verse is so not complicated OR hard to write… that’s kind of the point of it being called ‘free’ verse 😛


    • Glad you like my piece.

      As for writing free verse, I think there are probably things (rules, if you will) a writer should know about it. It’s the same with any writing. If you know the “rules” for what you’re writing, be it short stories, poems, novels, resumes, the better the writing is. If you write something without knowing the rules, it’s pretty obvious you don’t know the rules. Of course, writing and revising helps a writer learn, but this poem was for a grade and not the time to show my ignorance. The funny thing is he didn’t end up grading the poetry.


  2. I learned a very thing about poetry recently, having gone to a reading. I attended just to see how authors handle public readings (now that I am doing some myself). Poetry isn’t what the poem is about; poetry all about feeling or mood or where the poem takes you.

    I like poetry a lot better now that I don’t have to wonder what the heck I’m supposed to “get” by some hidden message in the words. Just enjoy the word journey.

    Now if only modern art were as simple… 😉


  3. Here is the guide to poetic form and limericks that I promised to write:) Please let me know what you think!



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