I read a poem the other day
That looked like prose; that poet's way
To give expression to his art,
And bare his innovative heart.
He sang no music, made no rhyme,
As poets used to, at one time.
His poem dismissed rhythm's clout;
I am free verse, it seemed to shout.
Last century, some poets said,
Formal rules were justly dead;
Substance mattered, and with that aim,
Rebellious poets made that claim.
Some flourished, and they often found
Inventive ways to break new ground;
Readers called their verses jewels,
Brave poems freed from ancient rules.
Old rules were snubbed, and in their place
Typography helped fill that space
With novel tricks like broken lines
And other forms of new design
Today some poets, having thought,
Revisited the changes wrought;
Sometimes they rhyme out in the clear,
Tradition now their new frontier.
Returning to the older verse,
They needn't worry which comes first;
Now poets have a choice to make,
A choice they're always free to take.