In Praise of Poetry
Is it for the eye? Is it for the ear?
Well, I suppose that depends on you.
What do you want to see; what do you wish to hear?
So why have it? Is there a story to be told?
Why commit to paper,
One’s intimate thoughts of gold?
For some it’s a passion; others it conceal.
“Immature poets imitate, mature poets steal.”1
I’m not sure I agree with that,
I think that overstates the case.
“It’s bloody hard work!”2
For, “Poetry fettered fetters the human race.”3
Well then, perhaps it’s a form of art,
Perhaps it sets a scene?
Or then again, maybe not,
Some poetry can be quite obscene.
Some limericks for example and the like,
Can make one start or blush.
Some haiku verse can be a strain;
The soul beneath is crushed.
Graffiti, written on a wall,
Defaced and quickly removed.
Authority will not tolerate it,
For the Establishment disapproves.
The free verse proponents, from discipline break free.
They all know they know, they all quite agree.
The ones who toil to avoid a rhyme,
And meter? What’s that?
Employers of this beware!
That’s a cardinal, infantile crime!
You say you understand. You clearly don’t.
That’s the point, don’t you see?
Well naturally now you do, I’ve told you so.
So of course you do. Don’t you agree?
“Writing free verse is like playing tennis with the net down.”4
A children’s circus, with not one single clown.
“The poet is the priest of the invisible.”5
The one whose efforts work great miracles.
Free verse poetry surely is,
A form of Narsisistic, self-expression,
For it gleefully frees it’s creator,
From the rigors of grammar’s strict ‘oppression’.
There are many who might claim it to be,
The truest form of the writer’s craft.
So the balladeer’s urbanity and the traditionalist’s mundanity,
Cannot possibly compare with it’s fine art.
Why then, if it matters not,
Is grammar still so steadfastly taught?
For many years we have punished those,
Whose break the rules of grammar most!
And yet we praise those very poets,
Who think they do all usage know it?
Who, with scant regard for any form,
Who, from discipline away are torn,
Who, with no capitals, commas, or punctuation,
Expect – nay demand – our unanimous adulation!
I find it all very confusing,
And really not at all amusing!
In fact, I feel like I’m bruising,
Wounds and lacerations, all oozing,
Life’s forces, all diffusing,
Into the ether, quite refusing,
Like something harshly abusing,
Wildly striking, me accusing,
My undemanding will is loosing,
Ye ken, ah’ve heard it a’ afore,
Ah’ve heard it so mony times,
“A poem’s no a poem,
If it’s lines dinae rhyme.”
So this yin disnae.
No any mair