Poetry sprints where mere prose jogs. It’s a direct line into the unstructured mind of a confused mortal with secrets they are bursting to tell, even though deep-down they’d rather you didn’t know.
Poetry is super-condensed emotion, formed under extreme pressure, forcing words out of their earthly role and instead to become something that sings and soars and lives eternal.
The absolutely least important thing about poetry is the format in which it is written.
This is why I was sick to the stomach to read of the “Queen’s English Society” who are declaring war on non-compliant poetry. They believe a “poem” need have rhyme and metre or else it is not a poem.
They sound to me like frustrated poets who want to destroy in revenge for not having the talent to create.
Poetry is looking at the edge experiences of life – to me defined metre and rhyme schemes are only suitable if you’re Pam Ayres and you Wished You’d Looked After Your Teeth.
My favourite poets ran roughshod over convention, and by doing something no-one had done before, they got results that no-one had ever got before.
Many of my favourite poems might fail the pedants’ test. I’m thinking ee cummings, I'm thinking “Howl” by Alan Ginsberg. I’m even thinking Dylan Thomas - it defies belief that his incandescent blank verse might not make the academic grade.
So, nuts to that. I hope poets continue to ignore the empty men such as the “Queen's English Society”