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The Form or Function Farm


The Form or Function Farm

Got folk to the left insisting if it rhymes,
it ain’t poetry.

Got folk to the right saying if it don’t rhyme,
it ain’t poetry.

As if I give a flux.

Some insist if there’s any punctuation at all,
it ain’t poetry.

Folk seem determined to determine others,
they should write poetry instead.

– Smith, 6.12.2015

Been having Facebook discussions about what is or isn’t poetry.

Group A suggests Shakespeare didn’t write poetry because he rhymed, and since real poetry doesn’t rhyme, he wrote verse instead.

Group B claims if it does not rhyme, it’s not poetry, it’s prose, which pretty much disses most of e.e. cummings, William Carlos Williams, Wallace Stevens, and a large swath of T.S. Eliot.

Mindboggling statements.

One friend said, “All I know is, it don’t mean a thing if it ain’t got that swing” . . . that’s my view as well — if you swing, you can do anything.

My favorite was “If it contains no marmots or other woodland mammals, it ain’t poetry!” — now that’s a statement I can get behind.

Garden Not Even

Marmots and mammals
and unsorted animals
trample my ankles
as I recheck the angles
for angels and devils
and gal most disheveled.

– Smith, 6.12.2015

Fuck the Poetry Police, and the rules they ride in on.


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