Tag Archives: free verse

The Fall

Verdant flowers.
Lovers under a tree
Taste fruit.
Unnoticed, a serpent slithers.

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Vita Brevis Press Forthcoming Poetry Anthology

“Vita Brevis Press, LLC will begin accepting submission for its first poetry anthology in the fall. The anthology will feature emerging and established poets and will be available in print and digital formats”.

To find out more please visit this link, https://vitabrevisliterature.com/poems/big-news-the-vita-brevis-anthology/.

Disdain for Rhyme

A couple of days ago, I was sitting at my desk trying to compose a poem in rhyme. My rhyming muse had deserted me, consequently I experimented with free verse. My muse still refused to play so, in frustration I turned off my computer and went to bed.

My inability to compose in either rhyme or free verse may have stemmed, in part at least from my need for sleep. However, come the morning my rhyming muse perched upon my shoulder and I was able to pen a rhyming poem with which I was happy.

As those of you who read my poetry on a regular basis will know, my preference is for rhyme. This is both because I find rhyme intrinsically beautiful, and due to rhyme coming naturally to me whilst, generally speaking, free verse does not. There is much great poetry written in free verse, its simply that, on the whole I prefer reading and writing rhyming poetry.

My muse refusing to play reminded me of the following response I received from a reviewer when I contacted them asking whether they would be interested in reviewing one of my books:

“I took a quick look at your site and at the reviews your book has on Goodreads. You’ve got a talent for rhyming. Unfortunately, I prefer to read free verse
and if I were you review your collection, my disdain for constant rhyming would bias my review”.

I was grateful for the response (as not all reviewers do respond to requests for reviews). In addition, I appreciated the honesty of the reply. We all have our preferences, mine is for rhyming poetry, whilst the reviewer’s is for free verse. As to whether my poems utilise constant rhyming, as the poet, I am probably not the best person to answer that question. However what I will say is this, I believe that whilst the best rhyming poetry is intrinsically beautiful, there is no point in marring a good composition by forcing a rhyme where no rhyme should properly be. It is not wise to force a size 10 foot into a size 9 shoe. One can do so however the foot risks being mangled as does the poem. Sometimes its right that parts of a poem rhyme whilst other sections do not. I am by no means a purist in such matters.

I have heard the view expressed that rhyming is somehow lazy as its easier to compose in rhyme than it is to use free or blank verse. I beg to differ. Whilst the best free verse poetry is a pleasure to read, the worst reads like prose of the most prosaic kind. Whilst there is, undoubtedly bad rhyming poetry, the subtlety of good rhyming poems is a real pleasure to peruse. The use of unusual (but highly effective) rhyming is a real skill which takes time to develop (and is only developed by some). As for the “disdain” for “constant rhyming”, whilst I can understand why this can become tedious, surely it depends on how the constant rhyming is done? “The cat ate my hat. I chased him with a bat, crying this was my hat!”, can quickly lead to tedium on the part of the reader, but much rhyming poetry is not like that!

In conclusion, I understand the views of those who dislike rhyming poetry, however I do not share them. Both rhyme and other forms of poetry possess their merits but I, personally prefer rhyme for the reasons set out above.

As always I would be interested in the views of you my readers.

Kevin

Crash

Door slamming.

Heels on deserted pavements echo

The lure of cash.

The girl’s heart beats fast.

An act;

Her life a car crash.

(“Crash” can be found in “The Girl Who Wasn’t There and Other Poems”, which is available in the Amazon Kindle store and can be found here, https://www.amazon.com/dp/B0155KSKOC/.

Places of Poetry

“Places of Poetry is an exciting 2019 community arts project, centred on a distinctive digital map of England and Wales.

Through the course of a four-month summer public campaign, writers from across the country will be invited to write new poems of place, heritage and identity, and pin them to the map.

Places of Poetry will prompt reflection on national and cultural identities in England and Wales, celebrating the diversity, heritage and personalities of place”.

To learn more about Places of Poetry please visit their holding page here, https://www.placesofpoetry.org.uk/.

Should one change one’s writing to enhance the chances of being published?

I recently read this article on Writers Relief, http://writersrelief.com/2010/03/18/poetry-turnoffs-styles-and-formatting-that-make-editors-cringe/. The piece makes a number of points concerning what editors of poetry magazines dislike, and suggests that those making submissions think carefully prior to submitting their work. Amongst the “turn offs” mentioned in the article, is that of rhyming poetry, with the view being expressed that editors do not, in general publish rhyming poetry. Interestingly almost all of the comments following on from the article are strongly in favour of rhyming poetry.

As a poet who does (for most of the time) write in rhyme, I am both saddened and heartened by the article. Or, rather I am saddened by the fact that many editors shy away from rhyming poetry, but heartened by the large number of those who love (and write) in rhyme. Of course one should not shoot the messenger. The authors of the article are only passing on their advice to those who wish to submit to poetry magazines and, of course are not responsible for the editorial likes and dislikes of particular journals. Nonetheless I have an aversion to writing simply to be accepted for publication. For me poetry has to be honest, and composing verse simply to please others is not being true to oneself.

I should, perhaps qualify the above statement. I do, of course hope that my work will give pleasure to my readers. I will, however not write in a manner alien to me simply to gain popularity and/or publication. This is easy for me to say as I have a fulltime job (my writing is not my primary source of income, and I do appreciate that not everyone has the luxury of simply producing work which is entirely to their own liking, for we all have bills to pay etc). But, for me rhyming poetry is my main mode of communication and I will not change my preference in order to enhance my chances of being published.

As always I would be interested in the views of you, my readers.

Kevin