Whitman devastated with verse that was ‘free’
but often ‘free verse’ is lazy poetry.
Do break metre sometimes ignore rhyme,
but oh please not all the time!

Poetry is best learnt with metre, and rhyme too.
Add thunder to your timing but keep your timing true!
A poem must have punch, may have flaws,
may shock, may shine, but should follow laws.

Wordplay may be subtle or spiced with gall.
Who writes by the cliche, by cliche will fall,
and poetry without sense is a tale without head;
label it ‘art’ (but leave it unread)

A poem may be sublime or hot as rage.
May best be ‘free’ or in rhyme’s cage,
though in these times of free, free is overrated
and in his grave lies Whitman, devastated.

*note: Whitman ranks among the great early   free verse poets (and he really was a great poet!)

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