Friday, January 18, 2013

Of rhyme and rhythm

Call me a Luddite but to me poetry has always been form and rhyme - real poetry. I can appreciate what is called 'free-verse' but to my mind it is simply creative prose.

Poetry by its very nature is song-like and the earliest bards not only spoke their poetry they sang it. The era of free-verse has been interesting as an exercise but I don't happen to believe it has added anything at all to the rich trove of poetic expression. The greatest poetry we have ever known has form and some rhyming capacity and therein lies the template.

Because poetry, like music, has a rhythm, a metre, a 'beat' there will be, as with music, always a basic and traditional form and the future may bring variations on the theme but nothing substantially different. There is a structure and order to mathematics and music, and the two are closely linked, and I believe poetry is the same.

There is a reason why in ancient times poets or bards were not simply honoured, but revered. They were seen as links to a sacred expression at work in the material world. Beyond everything else I still believe that is the true foundation of the poetic template.


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