Thursday, September 10, 2009

A heartbreaking poem of staggering genius

Why is poetry so awful these days?
I only ask because
I was listening to Jenny Bornholdt on
Nine to Noon and thought to myself
"This is crap."

I blame the Montana Book Awards
They encourage this sort of thing:
Me Me Me poems
which state the bleeding obvious
in words the People can understand.

So its all "everything is sad" and
"bad things happen," in blank verse
without difficult words, or metre:
the Nouvelle Hallmark style.

Of course, Nine to Noon
is all hospitals and Tragedy
and Heartbreak these days;
I would use the word maudlin
but that would be elitist.


Judith said...

Brilliant! Thank you.

Paul McBeth said...

Oh Fundy - that's superb....

Philip said...

That verse is blank which doesn't rhyme
Although its metre beats the time;
Free verse is that which has no meter

Word Verification: ingsrums, interpolated syllables which unspring rhythms to nefarious effect.

Anonymous said...

Great comments, everyone. Especially liked the blank verse rhyme.

It would surely be elitist to comment that poetry these days does not sell like Kipling did...........

And no doubt we are well past the Great Age of English Verse. But there could be a wave of nostalgia growing, out there among the unwashed.....

joe w said...

Peter in Dundee said...

Constraining yourself within a metre or even a rhyming scheme gets the creative juices flowing. Free verse is just too facile for that. Besides with a metre you can achieve emphasis and effect by breaking it properly, cleverly, deliberately.

I cannot recommend Stephen Fry's little book The Ode Less Travelled if you wish to wield either metre or rhythm (both?). Sonnets for eg are fun once you get started, they only seem daunting when you have never written one.

Grace Dalley said...

Good poems have ideas in them. They give us new perspectives and insights. Formal verse gets extra points for cleverness but loses them again if the content can't support it.

Philip said...

A perspectival insight arose
And declared: "Now, as everyone knows,
I'm a poem, you see!"
He was blank, he was free;
He was not verse, however, but prose.

Word Verification: prete, to prate in Ireland.