Odd that after all these months I find myself reading poetry again on a regular basis. And talking over the ups and downs of poetic content and structure with a colleague. But what’s come from this new/old exposure?
- First, this is the age of confessional poetry. That’s not my thing, I discover. too much “me” while poetic gifts that should be aimed at humanity, indeed, at the world at large, are spent whining about one’s personal ups and downs.
- We’re a couple of centuries deep into free verse, which to date has no accepted structure. No villanelles, no odes, no ballads or sonnets. This can be liberating, but it can be a prison, too.
- So what the heck? More and more, slant rhymes are the thing (Yes, Emily Dickinson). And the old rhythmic workhorse of poetry, iambic pentameter, is being stretched to its limits. Anyone taught poetry these days is confronted almost immediately with the issue of imagery. And in a deconstructive age, can we do without irony?
I began as a poet, but I’ve long since moved around the block to prose, and so I don’t fancy myself an expert on all things poetic. But in the weekdays following this, I’ll lend a hand to those struggling with understanding poetry, both the writing and reading of it. And who knows? Some pittance here may open a new door for you.