The Prison Of Poetry Poem by C Richard Miles

The Prison Of Poetry

Rating: 5.0

Free verse, they call it. But is it really fully free?
As language looms large like a secret-police state
Dominating, dictating, dulling unfettered thought
In unsuspended sentences of stultifying strict syntax,
Confining, constraining cell-walls of pent-up punctuation,
And jackbooted, joyless jailers of rigorous grammar
Which conspire to restrict all breaths of inspiration
And leave us gasping, grabbing at gobbledygook
Instead of succinct, supple, well-wrought wordplay.
And, not content with eliminating insistent insight,
The doleful dictionary’s rulebook bawls and barks
Like a warning warder of conventional conversation
Cruelly crushing creativity with rigorous refusal
To accept our outstretched offerings of oratory
With a resounding rebuke of unwritten unacceptability.
But harder than all harsh dictates of discourse
Is subjection from those self-constructed chains
Which fester frighteningly in our muddled minds
To fetter the freedoms of each eager escape-attempt
Of expression, since we impose rigid regulations
Of our own, those pre-planned patterns of perfectionism
Whose dangers dangle like the daggered sword of Damocles
Suspended by that whisker of wishful wavering
That checks our choice to vaunt vain verbiage
Preventing the production of the attempted article
And, bolstered, banishes the boisterous braincells
To insipid inattention and irksome, idle inactivity
And leaves the pristine page to laugh out loud
Mocking meanly at our woeful, wordless incapacity
To start our sentence in the painful poet’s prison-cell.

Roseann Shawiak 14 August 2015

Wow! So concise and well thought out! Free verse, not so fully free! You compacted the reasons to capacity, it engulfed my mind and heart in the confinement of it all! Knowing all the rules and stipulations, I do everything possible to go against the rules and cut the ties of past rhetoric, as you say in a way, choosing to mock the ancient system of coercion, breaking free to write freely! Totally love your style of writing, very enjoyable! Thank you for sharing. RoseAnn

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Lilly Drake 18 November 2008

Fantastic, very well thought out, wish I could use this in the classroom. Keep writing.

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