What is the appropriate form for poetry written in the modern era? No rhyme! No meter! Uneccessary! Old fashioned! Free verse is the “now”.
Well…….it appears that “Verse Livre” (free verse) itself is quite a venerable poetic institution! The “Song of Songs” in the Bible is a very early example of free verse – possibly dating to the 10th century BCE. Later experimentation around and in the 1800’s is attributed to Goethe, Christina Rosetti (who sometimes used unmetered and rhymed verse,) Heinrich Heine, Reiner Maria Rilke and others.
Free Verse allows for individual expression – the cadences, the look of the words on the page, the shape of sentences, the internal winks at venerable forms and words, the revelling in sounds, and the savoring of words as they shape in the mouth and are then released on the air – these and more are available again to poets and their admirers – in ways not socially available for many centuries.
I picked up an email from the LA Times – late in the evening before the event and called EHR Schober early the following morning: Can we do this on such short notice? How was this going to work out in such a rush and with other commitments already made? The answer was – yes we can do this – but we have to leave in less than an hour.
Everything was falling into place as if we had planned it weeks before. We drove to Union Station, parked in a shaded garage (what a boon on a very hot day in LA), took the free! provided shuttle – it showed up in a few short minutes, and (oh no!) in transit noted we had forgotten to bring our water bottles. We’d left in such a rush….. you know how it is.
We were in such anticipatory high spirits, we figured the water bottle problem would sort itself out too. And lo and behold as we stepped out of our airconditioned transport into the hot sunshine, we were greeted by a representative of CASCAL with an offer of an ice cold canned soft drink. Not just ANY soft drink, but slightly fermented fruit juice soda sweetened with stevia! Just up our alley! EHR opted for “Berry Cassis” – I went for the “Bright Citrus”. Yummm.
By the way – the LA Times Festival of Books at USC was informative and stimulating. We made contact with publishing outfits and signed up for publication consultations. We look forward to this next step of publishing “Joys and Laments of Getting Older“. Considering our time constraints – we got a LOT done.
Many thanks to our first 2 reviewers, Kate McP. and Jerry M. You are fabulous! Your insights and comments have been analyzed, parsed, contemplated, mulled over, mused upon – and in short, taken very seriously. “Joys and Laments of Getting Older” is now with the next 2 reviewers. Thank you. Thank you.
Little did I realize how difficult it is for me to be waiting and biding my time whilst the book is being edited and under review. It is exciting though. We have had two favourable reviews so far and we are awaiting two more… Then we go in search of a publisher.
I’ve been told:
’tis all just part of the game.
But believe me:
Impatience is my middle name.
© EHR Schober (April 17, 2012)
Familiarity with prose –
a given for many, I suppose.
But poetry: that’s a different story –
’tis literature in all its glory –
where thoughts have been expressed in metric form – and rhyme – once the prescribed and accepted norm.
In modern times, which I suppose is now,
many a writer will fervently avow –
neither meter nor rhyme are necessary;
these are “Old Rules” – almost legendary.
Joys and Laments are verses of rhyme
generally unmetered – from the absurd to the sublime.
© EHR Schober (04-02-2012)