Forget The Form - Poem by Kim Barney
Poem Hunter does not require you
to identify the form of your poem,
so why should you bother to do so?
If you don't try to identify the form,
you can't possibly get it wrong!
On a recent Member Poem of the Day,
the poet said the poem was blank verse.
It was not. It was free verse. Blank verse
and free verse are not the same thing!
If you don't know the difference, why
should you try to label it one or the other?
Even if you do know the difference,
why bother? Your readers will know
what the form is, or if they don't,
they won't care one way or the other!
If I write a villanelle but don't tell you
that it's a villanelle, you will either
like the poem or you won't, but
You will not care that it is or is not
a villanelle. There are certain poets
on this website who always say
that their poems are Rime Royale
or Rhyme Royal. Not one of those
poems that I have seen so far has been.
Ted Kooser, Who was U. S. Poet
Laureate from 2004 to 2006, said:
"I've never seen any advantage to
calling attention to the form of the poem.
I want MY … reader to be experiencing
the poetry, not drawing back to think
about the form and to wonder if
Kooser's got all his rhymes
in the right places."
For that matter, why does Poem Hunter
require us to list a TOPIC for the poem?
Can't the reader tell what the topic is?
Poem Hunter used to have a box for the
reader to fill in that said "What do you
think this poem is about? " but I think
they have got rid of that box since they
started FORCING us to supply a topic
for our poems. I just looked and I don't
see that box anymore. One poet (and you
probably know who this is)almost always
selects "green" as the topic for his poems,
even though most of his poems have nothing
to do with "green"! Is he just rebelling at
the fact that we have to supply a topic?
If I write what I think is a love poem,
but you don't recognize it as a love poem,
have I really written a love poem?
If I write about the garbage collectors
or their trucks but label it a love poem,
is it now truly a love poem?
I'm not sure what to put as the topic for this.
"Diatribe" is not a recognized topic, and
neither are "harangue" and "tirade".
Comments about Forget The Form by Kim Barney
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