Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Rhymed poems for the most part chew the root, but then most poetry is awful anyway

It's hard to write good poems, period. I have to admit that I've generally little or no use for most rhymed and metered poems, basically because there are so very few poets who are able to compose as such without seeming like they sacrificed emotion for a metronome and a rhyming dictionary. It is not something that pleases my ear under normal circumstances. Free verse, in turn, is in large part willful obscurity and arbitrary line breaks where the point is to disguise one’s lack of anything interesting to say. The drone replaces the metronome, and a cuisinart of unconsidered images and arty inferences take the place of an interesting arrangement of materials that, though quite different, find an atmospheric and tonal coherence in the hands of the genius, that rarest thing among us all. The dirty little secret is that most poems written by most poets are mediocre, substandard, self satisfied little noise machines composed by scribes who are, to some degree, either delusional or self-aggrandizing


  1. Then there's the argument that writing (or doing anything) against constraints makes for the better effort. Sometimes that seems to be true. A mastery over hte ear and human expectation and the words (sufficient to let them do their jobs) that working in form needs that much more explicitly is, well, kind of the thing.

    Hell, it's all hard to do well, isn't it? Your point.

  2. Yes, the art is rare, and I have to include my own poems , the ones I wrote and still write that attempt a short cut to genius but sheer force of personality. I've just put down a volume by new formalist poets, those who insist on rhyme and meter, and found most of the stuff stiff, and then I opened up a volume of Jori Graham and got p.o.'d all over aga in, abstruse, ungirdled swill. So yes, it's hard to do well, but half the point is in the search.


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