Reponse to Guardian Article of 2nd October

A post of mine from 2010 but still very apt, with National Poetry Day preparatings afoot as we speak.

Angela Topping

The original article seems to perceive a division between contemporary poetry (free verse) and older poetry(rhythm and rhyme) that just doesn’t exist. There is no poet I know who does not have their favourites from the past. I myself would not want to live without Emily Dickinson, John Donne, John Clare, Keats, Blake and Edna St Vincent Millais. Performance poetry relies on rhythm and rhyme for some of its impact. Page poets see themselves as writing out of a tradition too, but taking it new places, as we have to. Shakespeare and his contemporaries experimented in their time, as we do in ours, as poetry, like all art forms, does not stand still. I wrote both formal verse and free verse depending on what the poem tells me when it starts to arrive. The gap between page poets and performance poets is diminshing too, as page poets can now actually…

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