I hate free verse.
I do. I really do.
It irks me so...that lack of flow.
I used to think it was a sorry excuse for the people who had no sense of rhythm, no sense of rhyme
No sense of tempo, no sense of time,
To say, look mama! Look what I can do!
I can be a poet too!
I’ve since learned.
I’ve learned that while I still prefer the structure and rhyme of a traditional poem,
Those ones written by the fireside poets,
The ones easy to memorize, easy to learn, easy to recite, easy to burn.
My bros, my buds, my babies, my everything.
Longfellow and Bryant and Lowell and Whittier,
Standard forms and rhyming lines, shorter stanzas and feeling, thank you, just fine,
That these ‘new-fangled’ contraptions break all the rules.
They are the ones that are setting a new precedent. Are filling the sails with a new wind, steering the ship in a different direction, one that is both wicked and wonderful.
I’ve since learned that when the two ending words don’t rhyme when it seems like they should that it has a moment of build up, of suspension...and then it breaks.
Breaks like a wave crashing on the shore and all that anticipation isn’t lost, it’s suddenly caught up in the action of reunion. The wave with the shore. The dissonance with your ears.
Of course, it took me a long time to realize this.
Because I always thought, if you could only see;
Replace that oo with an ee
And everything is fixed, everything is right. Everything is out of the dark and into the light.
But you can’t control everything. Some things don’t fit.
Sometimes you have the key but you’re missing the lock.
Sometimes what you thought was perfect turns out to be completely wrong.
And sometimes there is nothing you can do about it.
No matter how much you force that word to rhyme, force that key to fit the lock, it won’t. It’s a piece of metal, hard and straight and fast.
Sometimes you have to pick the word that doesn’t work, and reevalute your line.
Because no matter how hard you try, no matter how many rules you bend, some words just don’t rhyme. And there is nothing you can do to make them.
Sometimes you can’t take the easy way out, take the bridges around or build dams to block. You just have to follow the river.
Follow it wherever it takes you.
And I’ve learned that sometimes, it’ll take you places you never even dreamed.
I’ve learned that sometimes, it’s for the best.
Follow that river just like that key.
Hard and straight and fast.