Some Lines Composed on Composing Some Lines
Dear god, it's hard to find a rhyme for iambic.
Oh shit, there's two too many beats that line.
Condemned to a world that's decasyllabic --
Or close, at least -- how I loath this design!
I hate its cute quatrains of sing-song rhyme,
Whose twists and turns end up at a couplet;
And how an extra beat feels like a crime,
And constant rhyming makes me turn scarlet.
I thought true beauty came right from the heart,
And did not need scansion or clever rhymes.
Just how does this poetic form impart
Its message in a way that's more sublime?
And now, instead of love or life or time,
You get a poem that's on trying to rhyme.
During my many storied years drifting around the English department, I've always been fascinated by the fact that every professor I've ever had in a poetry-rich class (Professor Mueller aside, actually) has openly admitted to being a terrible poet themselves. Conversely, everybody I've ever talked to in the Creative Writing department who has a fancy for poetry says they can't stand doing scansion or analyzing other people's work -- they just tend to know that their poetry (or any other poetry) sounds good and do the whole process from intuition. Why do you think it is that those who do the analysis -- be they students of English or any number of majors in the liberal arts -- often, for lack of a better term, suck at the actual craft? And why do those who do the creative legwork often eschew the critical/analytical part?
Or do I just know the wrong people?