To Verse Or To Free Verse

What inspires you to create art, or write a poem? How do you feel about meter, blank verse, and free verse? Have you been influenced one way or another?

I  been reading lately about the poetry of Charles Olson and J.H. Prynne. Olson created a manifesto and began what is called Projective Verse. The guiding motto for the Projective Verse: “The head to the ear by way of the syllable, the heart by way of the breath to the line.”   Here’s a video explaining Projective Verse on YouTube. (Good watch, even if the presenter is a bit overly animated.)

I really like the intuitive sense Olson imparts in his school of thought. It seems to me that John Ashbery’s poetry also follows a similar system of creation even though he prefers not to associate with any particular school: He is often associated with the New York School   – think Surrealism and Modernism. I’ve also found his name related to Organic Poetry.

It can take weeks or months for a journal to review and reject a poem. I’d rather share with the world sooner, so I’m posting the poem I wrote today now. After all, it is a first draft.

Constructive feedback is welcome.


To Verse Or To Free Verse
by Anni Johnson

Mine: A horse with barbed wire bit
feeling blindly for the bard. Drip. Drip.

The pounding. The pounding.

Incandescent flashes: Constructs of the ego. The pounding.

The pounding. Is there anybody in there?

Mind bombs, or heart
breaking forms.

A right or wrong path?
Does a “firm persuasion” exist?

The pounding.

The pounding the way music passes
in organized chaos
like knots
interdependent, connected.

The whole orchestral potential
ending with frog phobia.

I just tied up my gladiolas.





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