The number of websites devoted to poetry runs in the millions. To date, I haven’t browsed through even 1% of such websites, but keeping in mind this is National Poetry Month, I’m usually interested in perusing poetry sites to read their unique presentations. (Many don’t translate well into English which limits my ability to enjoy them!)
The above-pictured quote, however, didn’t come from a poetry website. I happened across this comment on Twitter first and because the quote intrigued me, I Googled it. Mr. Marks is an author, investment guru and CEO for Oaktree Capital Management … not exactly a person whose comments I would expect to touch on poetry.
From what I can tell, this quote is an expanded version of a Confucius quote, with Mr. Marks having added the last four words. Though I would not pretend to consider my poetry great, I’m curious to know what this man considers “great poetry.” Is there a specific definition? As I wandered around the web attempting to locate a Marks-provided explanation, I failed to find one.
As with the definition for beauty, the essence of great poetry is, in my view, in the eye of the beholder. I think there’s some agreement regarding the poetry of Shakespeare and Donne and Poe and Frost and Wordsworth. (I could go on, but you get the picture.) What strikes me about all these poets is their poetry has survived over time. Is survival the key component that makes them great?
I happened across another blog post that intrigued me. The post was titled How To Write Good Rhyming Poetry. Notice, the title doesn’t proffer a possibility of writing great rhyming poetry, just good. Nevertheless, I bit, and found the post writer offered some excellent observations.
The post begins on something of a down note though, as the writer states: rhyming poetry when “not done right can be kind of annoying.” Yep. Quite true. Second point of discouragement: editors of many literary journals “eschew rhyme.” True again. The coup de grâce comes later in the post: “Rhyming poetry does seem to be a dying art.” Bulls-eye, no question.
Knowing what I know, I can’t (and won’t) argue with this writer’s perspective. But none of this will dissuade me from continuing to write rhymed poetry. (Truly, I don’t believe the blogger intended to dissuade anyone, simply to make the points about rhymed poetry.) Toward the end of the post, the writer states: “The choice is yours.” Yep.
Today’s poem is … wait for it … a rhymed poem! Written many years ago, I never expected to find a place to use it, but this does seem the perfect spot. The poem appears to be a rebuttal to the aforementioned author of that particular writersrelief.com post, but that would be impossible since it was written long before I had access to the worldwide web.
I simply knew (way back when) that I was swimming upstream as a poet who enjoys (and writes) rhyming poetry. If rhymed poetry is a dying art … well … I suspect I’ll do my part to keep it on life support as long as I have the ability.