Sep 27, 2011

A Triolet Writer Grieves.

Sound a sad cow-bell. For the English Muse
is dead. Free verse now wanders down the page.
Easy! New-age poets have no use
for sounds. The cow-bell of the English Muse
is fading. You won't hear free-versers fuse
assonance with meter, rhyme. They're far too sage.
Sound a sad cow-bell for the English Muse
now free verse slops and dribbles down the page.

(Posted in response to the Triolet Challenge set by Grace at "Imaginary Garden With Real Toads")


  1. As a swan song for the English Muse, this rings a lot of bells, whether cow or church, I'd say. :)

    Let us hope it blows no fuses
    amongst the many free verse muses
    whose words invariable dribble
    down the page on which they scribble.

  2. Do stop it, you two. There is some wonderful free verse. Buy yourself the three new anthologies Being alive, Being Human and Staying Alive and you'll find lots to gladden your hearts. (Lots of translations too)

    I agree with you that there is an awful lot of rubbish in blogland, free verse without rhyme (obviously), reason, rhythm, and often a very poor vocabulary on top of it all, abounds. But even in blogland I find a decent example of the art here and there.

    Doggerel and the Pam Ayres school of rhyme does not count as poetry in my book. Just because it rhymes it ain't poetry.

    I could name quite a few free verse contemporary English poets. The 'Forward Book Of Poetry' which is published annually and consists entirely of current British poetry is another place for you to go and look.

  3. I agree, Friko. Dylan Thomas for one, although I would describe his work as "free poetry."

    Here's the test. Write out an example of free verse without the line breaks, i.e. as a paragraph of prose. Ask any literate person to read it. Count the ones who say "Wait a minute, isn't this a POEM?" You won't get many.
    It isn't poetry just because it looks like a poem on the page.

  4. Oh well said, sir! The choice of form poetry to make your point adds to the satire.

  5. Ah...nicely done, and all arrows directed at free verse easily ducked :0)

  6. I love how you did it; clever take~

  7. I agree. A clever triolet indeed.


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