On Metered Verse

For me,
Writing traditional verse is like making a journey
Where you might know the destination
But not the route.
Each line's end
Is another milestone which heralds
New scenery.
Sometimes a particular line
By virtue of its rhyme
Transports you to an unexpected,
Beautiful byway,
An elegant metaphor or an
Eloquent image.
Sometimes you have to
Its syntax to coerce a reluctant rhyme.
Sometimes, the line writes itself.

Free-verse is fine
But can tend towards rambling.
Meter and rhyme make poetry like weaving,
Tight and neat, delicate,
A lady's hair smoothed and pressed.
Unless you write metered verse,
You might not realize
How different it can be than free-verse,
In many ways more rewarding
Both for the challenge and the
Powerful resonance,
Hypnotic musical rhythms and cadences.
A well-dictioned piece of free-verse
Can be monumentally powerful,
But who can convey the same meaning
In rhyme and meter must truly be called

George Chadderdon © 1995