A good, solid, deftly-executed poem:

June 20, 2012

Inspired by a recent debate of sorts

A prose-poem will get you in
some trouble with the clique–
The lack of rigid structure is
considered parlor trick.

A meter must induce a sway,
as campers ’round a flame;
A rhyme should be a marvel to
kids and critics the same.

If Dickinson could do it, well,
then you should have no qualm.
She managed insight and good form
while shut inside the home.

And even she thought Walt Whitman
a wiry, crass old coot.
Without a beat to drum, My Captain’s
“songs” are all but moot.

And Cummings? Why, that bird-brained bat,
what’s to be gained from his?
A le
          t
              ter here,
    a
         comma                     there
See how insane this is?

The ancient scholars had it right
when speaking verse aloud:
You must commit to memory
the myths of earth and cloud.

So when you’re writing poetry
(thus writing how you feel),
take long, strenuous, aching thought
and painstakingly spiel.

If by the time you write it, you’ve
forgotten what you meant,
Don’t worry all about it, friend.
It’s form that pays the rent.

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