A Case for Rhyme and Meter

February 28, 2012

I am often asked why I write in the classic styles of poetry, as opposed to the free verse so popular today, the words of Robert  Herrick come to mind:

Gather ye rosebuds while ye may,
Old time is still a-flying:
And this same flower that smiles to-day
To-morrow will be dying.

Though 350 years old, this poem still makes me think, the rhyme and flow simply opens my mind in ways free-verse is hard pressed to compete with.



  1. After many years, I have just begun to write again…and yes, those old beautiful poems in classic styles are the ones I carry most with me. Any tips on books or websites that might help me open up my writing practice to include the classic styles?

    • Not sure if you are looking for classics or more contemporary writing to include. I post a lot of my work at http://writerscafe.org/writers/mhb. It’s a free site that gives some pretty good feedback from other poets.

      • Thank you. I look foward to going to that site.I am reading alot. Wondering if just off the top of your head you have a favorite place for learning to write more structured verse other than reading. I enjoy mapping out some of my free verse…getting it to rhyme and looking at meter. Just wonder if there are some exercises/books you enjoy out there to get me to write a good structured poem off the bat.

      • I do not have a site for for style. I just read and when I find a style I like I study it. Mostly I pick a style and start writing and playing with it until I am able to produce something worth sharing. I guess the hardest styles are the sonnets. Once you have them, most anything else is pretty easy to pick up.

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