Is Free Verse Killing Poetry?

Discussion of any bush poetry topic.
ONLY Registered Forum Members have access to this Forum.
User avatar
alongtimegone
Posts: 1200
Joined: Thu Jan 10, 2013 2:05 pm
Location: Brisbane

Is Free Verse Killing Poetry?

Post by alongtimegone » Tue May 24, 2016 2:10 pm

This is quite a lengthy article ( PUBLISHED: September 4, 2012 ) but very readable and in part quite humorous.

Is Free Verse Killing Poetry? | VQR Online
http://www.vqronline.org/poetry/free-ve ... ing-poetry

Vic Jefferies
Posts: 1041
Joined: Mon Nov 01, 2010 8:21 am

Re: Is Free Verse Killing Poetry?

Post by Vic Jefferies » Tue May 24, 2016 2:30 pm

Great article which contains a great many truths.

User avatar
alongtimegone
Posts: 1200
Joined: Thu Jan 10, 2013 2:05 pm
Location: Brisbane

Re: Is Free Verse Killing Poetry?

Post by alongtimegone » Tue May 24, 2016 3:20 pm

I think so.

Neville Briggs
Posts: 6936
Joined: Sun Oct 31, 2010 12:08 pm
Location: Here

Re: Is Free Verse Killing Poetry?

Post by Neville Briggs » Tue May 24, 2016 4:12 pm

I think the article might have missed something. Later on that.

The writer apparently makes the charge that contemporary poetry is one uniform lump of "free verse ".and "that there is a complete avoidance and disdain for the kinds of poetry pre-Baby Boomers were raised on " he says ( without any evidence to establish that broad "truth" )
In fact, that claim can be easily disproven by reading contemporary publishing of poetry, that includes many sorts of poetry forms.
It is a false claim.

He also makes the claim that free verse allows " no more struggling with le mot juste or original images " Either the writer is claiming remarkable omniscience of practitioners minds or he is just saying something that he thinks sounds clever. Almost certainly the latter.
This claim is also false, as any knowledge of contemporary poets methods shows that they struggle with those issues all the time. their work shows the results of their effort.

The writer is using the fallacious argument of setting up small bits of the most extreme examples of modernist efforts, and then generalising without any justification, that these examples stand for all modernist poetry. It is usually very hard to judge the merit of a piece of poetry by looking at one or two lines out of a larger work. We can't judge the merit of Picasso by looking at a 20cm square of a large canvas, and that small bit won't tell us the big picture of modern art.

And of course the clinching argument that all real poets know for sure , while smiling a knowing smile of self congratulation, is that modernists poets cannot manage to do rhyme and metre.
There are plenty of contemporary poets who do rhyme and metre in perfect form. Check the publications.

I think the writer is mainly disdaining the most extreme forms of anti establishment writings. I suppose they deliberately use anarchic formats to express anarchic or revolutionary political views. But I can't see what that says about literature generally.

Back to missing something. He seems to have missed that it is cheap doggerel that weakens the art of poetry.

Do we find that in free verse ?
No doubt it is in there, all art is uneven, it is not difficult to find how even the renowned poets wrote bad stuff among the good.

What about the sacred halls of rhyme and metre, any taint of doggerel there. Oh dear, I'm afraid so kiddies. naughty, naughty.


p.s. No reflection on any individual here. I am trying to make the case that discourses like this article are irrelevant to us. We would do better to work out how to build ourselves up to a high standard and not waste our thinking by listening to banal prejudice about others.
Neville
" Prose is description, poetry is presence " Les Murray.

User avatar
Stephen Whiteside
Posts: 3784
Joined: Sat Nov 27, 2010 1:07 pm
Contact:

Re: Is Free Verse Killing Poetry?

Post by Stephen Whiteside » Tue May 24, 2016 9:34 pm

Back in the days when poetry was king, it was just about the only form of popular entertainment.

Here are a few other things that (in my opinion) are also killing poetry:

Popular music
Radio
TV
Movies
YouTube
Facebook
Twitter
Instagram
Computer games
etc., etc., etc.
Stephen Whiteside, Australian Poet and Writer
http://www.stephenwhiteside.com.au

manfredvijars

Re: Is Free Verse Killing Poetry?

Post by manfredvijars » Wed May 25, 2016 12:00 am

Stephen Whiteside wrote: Here are a few other things that (in my opinion) are also killing poetry:

Popular music
Radio
TV
Movies
YouTube
Facebook
Twitter
Instagram
Computer games
etc., etc., etc.
Ironically, all of those devices mentioned also CARRY poetry to the massess ...

Bob Pacey
Moderator
Posts: 7463
Joined: Thu Dec 02, 2010 9:18 am
Location: Yeppoon

Re: Is Free Verse Killing Poetry?

Post by Bob Pacey » Wed May 25, 2016 6:00 am

IS FREE VERSE KILLING POETRY


NO !
The purpose in life is to have fun.
After you grasp that everything else seems insignificant !!!

Vic Jefferies
Posts: 1041
Joined: Mon Nov 01, 2010 8:21 am

Re: Is Free Verse Killing Poetry?

Post by Vic Jefferies » Wed May 25, 2016 2:29 pm

I became interested in poetry because I had a teacher who used to read a Banjo Paterson to my class every Friday afternoon as a treat and it is amazing how many people have made the same comment to me over the years.
The Man From Snowy River, The Man From Ironbark and Mulga Bill's Bicycle whetted my appetite as a boy and I have had an enduring love of most forms of poetry for most of my life.
I am sure not too many youngsters would be similarly inspired by listening to the gobbledygook that is printed as poetry today.

Neville Briggs
Posts: 6936
Joined: Sun Oct 31, 2010 12:08 pm
Location: Here

Re: Is Free Verse Killing Poetry?

Post by Neville Briggs » Wed May 25, 2016 3:26 pm

Suzanne Edgar, contemporary poet of the free verse kind, had a poem published in the Weekend Australian a couple of weekends ago. Her poem was the traditional form of the rhyming sonnet. It's easy to follow, and gently humorous , doesn't sound like gobbledygook at all.
Neville
" Prose is description, poetry is presence " Les Murray.

User avatar
Stephen Whiteside
Posts: 3784
Joined: Sat Nov 27, 2010 1:07 pm
Contact:

Re: Is Free Verse Killing Poetry?

Post by Stephen Whiteside » Wed May 25, 2016 5:23 pm

Point taken, Manfred, but I still think there is truth in what I say.
Stephen Whiteside, Australian Poet and Writer
http://www.stephenwhiteside.com.au

Post Reply