How important is metered verse? Does it matter if it’s written in hexameter and quatrains? How about the number of iambs? Perusing online poets at random, it seems pretty apparent that the rules governing poetry do not matter. Poets throughout history wrote rhythmic prose or payed attention to syllables. It’s incredibly easy to rhyme a bunch of lines. Namely the last word of each sentence. That matters very little unless it’s prose. Prose doesn’t necessarily have to rhyme, but it has to flow. Meters are not used in prose. Sentences and paragraphs are the grammatical structure within prose. That’s fine. But somehow, poetry has been associated with rhyming. For those that take it as a serious form of art that requires effort, to see people write poetry the wrong way, saps the spirit. Maybe the lack of academic attention to poetry is the root cause. If you don’t know how to read poetry and discern it, how can you write it? Painters go to school and learn. From there they can take the art anywhere. En plein air comes to mind. The impressionist were taught to use their talent. That innate talent with education allowed them to devise a new art form. At first it was hated. Impressionism horrified Parisians. What horrifies a poet? A lot of really bad poetry that doesn’t make sense to a learned poet. Maybe it shoulda
be called “folk poets.” Sometimes folk art is pretty good, but the lack of training is very clear. A sculpture by Rodin looks pretty different than a bunch of scrap metal fused to resemble a person or thing. But if it’s fun, good for them. The problem for serious poets that try their best to master their craft is the bottomless pit of nonsense crowding the showroom floor. It makes sense that people don’t read much poetry. They probably wouldn’t know if it was poetry unless it was some nursery rhyme. Again, rhyming words does not, a poet make. People have always appreciated the arts. Their tastes can vary widely. But art has form. When form isn’t followed, there is chaos. Chaos begets more chaos until the art is lost forever. In its present form, with its millennia of tinkering, the essence of poetry has passed. It’s rules as wide as they are, are not followed leaving the audience cheering for something they don’t understand. Poetry has been swallowed by the internet. Prose, once the dominant way of storytelling is left to rust in the acid rain of pop fiction. RIP poetry.