Every so often, writers as a breed get down on themselves. In the US, particularly, there seems to be little thirst for poetry, and few kudos are ever received, by those who work long and hard at this ancient art form. I suppose, the public at large think that we poets are much like those who weave or make candles or sew or knit by hand, much like the blacksmith or the wheelwright or some other purveyor of an obsolete medieval skill. in other words, we are Luddites. Why can’t we just get with the program?
Perhaps rhyme became obsolete, as soon as the written word was made available to all in the form of printed books. There was no more need for wandering minstrels, nor for the rhyme and meter that helped them remember their tales. Yet we still listen to songs, and we still admire craftsmanship in other things.
This poem conveys the regretful angst of a poet devoted to the art of rhymed verse. Why shouldn’t he feel sorry for himself, in an age in which Taste dictates, that rhyme be used only for children’s books, songs and advertising jingles?
By the way, I love this Art-Deco-inspired Regal Cinema façade. But I can also understand, that it might be not quite to everyone’s taste.
My public has grown tired of rhyme,
That dull, resounding metronome
That marks the beat and knells the tone.
That bell that tolls, it tolls for me.
My public has grown tired of rhyme.
Of cadence. Weary to the bone.
And though my meter’s perfect, groan,
And long to begone, my poetry.
My public finds my meter slow
And somnorific. Lacking time,
They scroll and tweet a quip sublime,
Abandoning me, with friends in tow.
My public finds my meter slow,
So gradually, my words align,
Increasing pace and marking time
With slogans and with slang they know.
A dull style, as performance goes:
Mere written word. Their toes will tap
When witnessing spontaneous rap
Or song, or nonsense-spouting shows.
There’s method in my structured words–
But clearly, method makes it worse!
They’d much prefer I chant, or curse–
So they bind my rhyme in ligatures.
And what’s my violent, capitol crime?
Why lies my rhyme in a silent hearse?
My techniques do not suit the times,
My every verse.
Copyright 2022 Andrea LeDew