Sammy wrote: ↑
Thu Apr 23, 2020 7:26 am
That sounds more like observation than poetry, not that I'm an expert in poetry.
Back in the 1960's a debate went on, mostly through magazines called "the littles," about what poetry was and wasn't. Today, the Wikipedia entry on "poetry" goes on for pages. I remember seeing a definition of poetry many years ago (maybe in a dictionary?) and it gave me a definition that I use today: "written narrative in verse form."
That might be an oversimplification. But using my poem above as an example, if I wanted to write simply my observation of what happened, it would be written in paragraphs offering my impressions and it would have regressions to contrast what else might be the reality if my impressions were wrong. For instance, in an essay I would have written, "a young man who may have been homeless." In my poem I wrote about the bits of leaves and dried grass clinging to the back of his shirt.
Bukowski once said he was rejected by an editor who told him, "This is good, but it's not a poem." Bukowski also said he was happy to have the establishment criticize his poems that way, because he thought their's was a bunch of unreadable gibberish. Some people think that for a poem to be a poem it has to rhyme. Some people even believe that it should be difficult to read, i.e. post-modernism. Neither of those are requirements, although they can be if that's what the reader wants. Some people regard John Ashberry as one of America's greatest poets. I read his collection Which Way Shall I Wonder and I can say without any reservation whatsoever that it was absolute crap. It was literally unreadable. Needless to say, many educated people disagree with that. So I say that if a person scribbles something down and calls it a poem, then that's what it is. He may call it a scroncvallk, or a turd, or a cat. Whatever he wants to call it is what it is. Of course, many may disregard it.
It's also interesting to note that some critic, or some academic, or some writer somewhere classified Bukowski's style of poetry as meat poetry, probably to contrast it with beat poetry which was popular at the time. Bukowski, William Wantling and Steve Richmond were classified as meat poets. Poetry that didn't rhyme or have meter.
When I was a kid, I used to try to copy the rhyming style of Emily Dickinson. It made my poems sound childish. I once wrote a rhyming poem that was supposed to reveal how angry I was about something. I wanted it to sound like words being shot from a cannon. But when I finished it and read it out loud, it sounded like a Dr. Seuss rhyme. I gave up trying to copy Emily Dickinson.
BTW, I've noticed that in the magazine Rattle, one of the leading poetry magazines, there have been more rhyming poems showing up lately. I wonder if that's how poetry is trending now. I sure hope not.