No Time for Rhythm and Rhyme – About Poetry

| Author: | Posted in Poetry

During our formative years in school, poetry was all about structure. In order for it to be good, there had to be rhythm, rhyme and sappy sentiments expressed. For this reason, among others, most of us were turned off to the concept. However, as literature and verse has evolved, these concepts about poetry are not only outdated, but outlandish. Poetry is no longer about fitting in, but standing out, and there are certain myths that need to be dispelled.

One of the first things to realize about poetry today is that there is no set structure that needs to be followed. Unless you are attempting to write a specific type of poem, like a limerick or sonnet, poetry is considered free verse. What this means is that there are no syllabic, assonance or consonance requirements for it to be considered poetry. For this reason, it is much easier to write and relate to than one might think. Poetry has turned into a simple form of self expression that is accessible to anyone and everyone.

Another misconception about poetry is that it is supposed to be about specific topics only. In the past, verse tended to revolve around nature, love, and self-discovery. While these are still tremendously popular subjects, poetry topics today are much more varied. Verse can be written about just about anything, ranging from food to work to friendship. The thing about poetry is that it is supposed to be an outlet for emotion and expression. If you are emotional about french fries, then write about them! The poems you write should be written for you, and not necessarily the reader, which means that no subject is out of bounds.

One thing that the public is gradually realizing about poetry is that is not reserved for a certain class of people, either. Classical poetry was often associated with rich, white aristocrats. However, today, with the dawn of slam poetry, verse has transcended lines of race, class, religion and lifestyle to become a universal form of expression. Cultural traditions have blended together, and given people from all walks of life a common arena of expression. The rules of engagement have changed, the topic restrictions have been eradicated, and it is now a format of writing that is accessible to anyone and everyone. That is something that’s definitely worthy of a few good snaps.

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