Know Your Enemies: POETS

Poetry is the production of rhyming couplets.   Everyone knows that.   So why do some “professional” “poets” seem to be nigh on unable to write in rhyme?
This is what makes a poem enjoyable – the lilting of the lines, not really paying attention, to what the poem’s about, la la la la pension.   That’s why I love the poetry of William McGonagall.   But if a poem does not rhyme, it is just prose, and its author is not a “poet”, he is a “novelist”, pardon my French!   I hate prose writers!  They are all, without exception, inelegant hacks; even I.   The author Ruth Rendall uses the word “unputdownable” to describe books – it can only describe beloved family pets, you ninny!

Back to poetry: the Queen’s English Society waded into the poetry debate by repeating what I have just said verbatim.  They dismissed all non-rhyming poems as
“word-things”, [1]
which is typical of the QES: such a lovely eloquent phrase that may yet win them the national poetry prize, one of these days!

The facts (or “the think-things”) scupper the QES’s argument and make them look like talentless philistines, but that doesn’t necessarily mean that they’re wrong or will stop complaining.   The obligatory destruction of their argument is given here by Jack Ross:

“[By the] society’s rules, Homer and Virgil didn’t write poetry – nor did any of the Classical poets or dramatists, in fact. Rhyme only became a technical resource for European poetry in the Middle Ages. [...] Shakespeare, singled out for special praise above, very seldom wrote in rhyme. In his songs and sonnets, yes, but not in his plays. Is the concluding couplet the only piece of ‘poetry’ in his scenes?”

This article is very good and has lots of information on the history of word-things. It really makes me want to start reading poetry more complex than that of William McGonagall.

Ross also reveals that the poem the QES single out for special condemnation, Michael Schmidt’s Pangur Ban, was an Irish Gaelic poem which did rhyme; what they had was a translation.   As I said, they never let facts get in the way of their presumptions.
And these ill-researched twits want control of our language?
I wouldn’t trust them to make me a sandwich.

A spot of amateur poetry there; note that it is a beautiful poem, not a word-thing.
The anti-poetry campaign earned Bernard Lamb and Michael George Gibson several kilogrammes of publicity, which would have been a great success, had they remained silent during their newspaper interview and compelled us and the general public to consider the intrinsic value of their silent word-things!    It is to be regretted that they did not do this.

Shakespeare: talentless

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