I came across someone recently who told me in no uncertain terms that they ‘absolutely hate free verse’, that ‘if it doesn’t rhyme, it’s not poetry’. I didn’t get into an instant dispute over the matter, that person being of an age when respect is offered to one’s elders, but it did get me thinking: how many are of the same view? How many people on this wide and varied globe of ours positively need the cat and its mat, in order to listen to or be a poet, and know it?
Personally, and as can most probably be gathered from the samples available on this site, I am of the opposite opinion, almost entirely. Why does a poem have to simply always rhyme? Yes, an ABAB or AABB structure is quickly caught by the ear and memorised, but there are many other stylistic tools that give a poem rhythmic body and keep it from the fate of chopped up prose.
Today being Tuesday, that time of the week lain aside since the New Year for, specifically, some free verse composition – set to and inspired by music – this encounter is being kept in mind while listening to Nils Frahm’s ‘Ambre’. Time being tight this week, just a quick one this time:
Landscape dark, impenetrable,
just beyond this glass. Illuminated
only by moonlight, misty
rays softly pulsing through night cloak
of clouds and other, firmer shadows.
Watcher watches own observation,
eye reflecting eye, studying self –
amber-lit radiance –
against background of blackened sky:
image spectral, god-like visage
to idolise, until the dawn.
[Copyright N R Nolan © 2015]