Some there are who look with scorn
On poets that indulge in rhymes,
As if they were strange creatures born
Out of concert with the times,
As if old-fashioned forms and meter
Had all been damned by Paul and Peter!
Poetic forms, they claim, are cages
For thoughts and feelings born with wings,
Instincts meant for flights and stages
Far above pedestrian things,
But artificial rules deny
Their claim presumptive to the sky.
The sonnet, rondeau, triolet
Are all outmoded forms, they think,
On which the sun should finally set,
Condemned as just a waste of ink.
Well, those who care for such debates
May take it up with Frost and Yeats.
No, I am not of their persuasion.
A poem doesn’t fly, it sings.
Perhaps captivity occasions
Sympathy with captive things,
And by this sympathy it gains
Strange beauty from the captive’s pains.
Could Keats’ immortal nightingale
Have Sung in rhymeless verse that hymn
That thrilled the dark, death-haunted dale
With such ecstatic requiem,
And brought Keats, dying, thoughts forlorn
Of Ruth amid the alien corn?
Used by permission of the author.
David’s book, “Birds Only Sing to Those Who Listen,” is available for purchase here.