Freeform Workshop

Workshop for poetry written in free forms.
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Cliff Matthews United Kingdom (5/25/2005 9:50:00 AM)

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Any poetry that contains cliche is likely to be a poor poem whether in free form or metre.

I find that the exact opposite of your contention to be more common. Many 'poets' adopt free form because they think in this form anything goes. They are equally wrong of course as those who think that all a poem has to do is hit a rhyme form and they are home and dry.

Consistent metre, rhythm or rhyme are necessarily more difficult to maintain than poetry which doesn't have to consider these three aspcts closely.The standards for good poetry remain high no matter what the chosen form.

Clearly, free form gives the greatest scope for a lazy poet.

Poetry is not a matter of finding that perfect word. Truth can only be approached with words, it cannot be captured. Perfection is unacheivable.

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  • Rookie Eric Paul Shaffer (6/30/2005 10:29:00 PM) Post reply
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    Lazy poets are never in short supply, and if one insists on drawing that line between them, there are plenty of lazy poets who write rhyme and plenty who write free verse.

    There is no way, really, to determine which group has the greater number of lazy poets; however, there is one observation that I would like to make about distinguishing rhymers from free-verse writers.

    Those who choose to write in rhyme rarely know more about the mechanics of rhyme than they can learn from nursery rhymes, pop songs, advertising jingles, and greeting cards.

    For me, this is the main drawback of rhyme: it sucks in the unskilled and the unread in greater numbers than free verse ever could.

    Rhyme is NOT easy. Even a quick glance at Robert Frost, Edwin Arlington Robinson, Edgar Allan Poe, the Schoolhouse Poets, and even Sara Teasdale, proves that.

    Yet some poets with little knowledge and less learning leap into rhyme just because they remember a few lines about Jack Horner.

    There is no such attraction in free verse. When you write lousy lines of free verse, they are nakedly, shamefully bad, and anyone can see it.

    As a result, I tend to hope that poets carefully tack around that black whirlpool of rhyme until they've read much and know more about what is possible, what's been done, and what the directions are.

    No matter which method one chooses, however, we need to remember that a poem is not successful because of its form or lack thereof. A poem is successful when it communicates, and the audience, or the lack thereof, will tell you how well you do that.

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