Thursday, October 11, 2012

Free Verse or Formal Verse?


In my last post, I asked you to tell me about your favourite poems. Recently I've been going through a lot of "calls for submission" as a part of some work! I noticed many publishers mention that they only accept free verse or modern style and that do not accept poetry 'with rhyming lines', as if it were a terrible thing.

I have read a lot of poems in the last few months, partly because I had to learn them, partly because through all the studying (hah) I actually developed a genuine interest. From whatever poetry I have read, I think formal verse is just as effective a way to put across a message. Look around you, everything in the nature has structure; that should be enough to prove that structure has beauty too. The metric patterns, for me, give a sense of precision and balance to the poem. I don't think that formal verse with things such as metre or rhyme limits your creativity, I actually think it challenges you further. The rules were there for a reason. While it is okay to break them when they seem like a cage around that particular poem, breaking the rules is neither the better way nor the only way to expression. I may be wrong, but every time someone says "poetry is freedom" and "poetry is expression, which is not bound by any laws", I can't help but think of all the greatest masters of poetry, right from the Bard, who used the rules and patterns and laws to express, and express a lot. A bias towards neither of the two types of poetry, formal or free verse: that's what they mean by freedom.

In my three posts on poetry on this blog, I have made it a point to bash the poems found all over the internet, those which are generally assisted by glittery, romantic or dark, mushy, pictures of suicidal people. And, I do not like them: random difficult sounding words picked right out of a thesaurus, stringed together, deliberately avoiding any semblance of grammar do not automatically qualify as poetry.

But, as I was writing that right now for the third time, I realized for the second time how incredibly judgmental I was sounding and so I decided to actually tell you about one poetry blog that I regularly read and actually sort of love. Do visit! I'm sure there are a lot of great poetry blogs on the internet and I hope I discover more of them.

3 comments:

Bookworm Belle said...

I prefer more structured poems, as well. The rhythm and meter of Poe's "The Raven" dazzles me every time I read it, as does anything by Langston Hughes or Robert Frost. The one exception is a poem I have loved since childhood, titled, "This Is Just To Say", by WIlliam Carlos Williams:

I have eaten
the plums
that were in
the icebox

and which
you were probably
saving
for breakfast

Forgive me
they were delicious
so sweet
and so cold

SEARCHER GURL said...

soo good to see you are participating on the #readathon ... i may only have my virtual pompoms and rahrahs but cheer cheer and cheers as you read your books #cheersweetarts

Priya -Tabula Rasa said...

I guess dazzles me are the perfect words for The Raven, the poem is so massive and still beautiful! Robert Frost is one of my favourites too and I will now read something by Hughes, thanks for the recommendation.

Oh and that poem is so good! Although in a way, I do think it is kind of structured, though not a traditional formal poem.

Post a Comment