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Wednesday, April 06, 2005

Poetry Month

Uh oh, batten the hatches. It's *that* month again.

Good old Slate is pitching in, "taking both sides by publishing each week a poem that derogates poetry itself or kvetches about bad poetry or denounces public taste in poetry."

I once scribbled something out to make someone laugh: an earnest girl with one whole Ikea shelf sagging with titles like "Style", "How to Write Poetry", "Rhyme that Line!", "Creative Writing Guide".

Odd thing is, in all her reams of writing and close-written exercise books, I never found one drat composition I didn't have to feign interest over.

She too could dish up endless lines of turgid unrhyming codswallop, so one day I thought I'd camp it up and see if I could get that wan face to smile.

Manners make verse no less than they make man
Asking of verse that it should rhyme and scan
And be the ground where Grace and Patience meet
On pathways trod by - say - iambic feet

Lo! Verse that scorns such gently measured tread
To be dismissed needs only to be read;
Or should it spurn the courtesy of rhyme
T'will rarely stand the briefest test of time.

Free verse is free with all its tawdry favours,
A slut whose turpitude the dimwit savours,
A strutting cock who from his dunghill crows,
Conceited from his coxcomb to his toes.

Free verse, the work of charlatans and knaves,
The shortest road to execration paves,

paglia bookYet, might it be in Heaven, we dare to hope,
That Mr. Pound is chum to Mr. Pope?

Also, excuse enough to link to Camille's "43" again ...

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