Why there's no one true form of poetry (and why there shouldn't be)

Stumbled upon “Japanese Poetry Persists in Korea, Despite Disapproval,” by Choe Sang-Hun from The New York Times, and found myself going back over that dangerous territory of what the purpose of poetry might be, could be and should be.

In this case, the poetic forms used by Korean poets can actually cause public shame and disapproval. Imagine getting dissed at a writers conference because you write triolets or kyrielles–not because they’re bad poems, but because they’re poetic forms with French origins. Such actions take poetry out of the realm of “just words” and makes it a very human activity.

Poetry is always important, but it reaches a new level when poets feel they have to hide their tanka and haiku out of fear and/or shame.

So read the article and think about it; talk about it with your friends; and keep it in mind throughout National Poetry Month (April here in the States).


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6 thoughts on “Why there's no one true form of poetry (and why there shouldn't be)

  1. anne

    Jordan (the dog)

    I sniff pee, so what’s wrong with that?
    I sniff it, and then I pee on top of it.
    Makes sense to me.
    I know what you don’t know:
    That Molly was here.
    Maybe she’ll be back and she’ll
    Know that I said hello.


  2. Cheryl Stewart


    You were my heart, my breath
    and then you died.
    I wanted to die too,
    to be with you.
    But I didn’t.
    I went on. Life went on,
    Still, I knew I would never
    forget my greatest loss.
    Today, I triumphed.
    So eager to share it with you,
    I drove as fast as I could,
    down the street toward your house.
    And then, I remembered.
    In that one despairing moment,
    I felt anguish even greater than losing you.
    It was the moment I first realized
    I had allowed myself to forget my greatest loss.
    That moment was the greatest sorrow
    I have ever known.

  3. Doreen

    April 1st

    The first rays of sunlight startle the impulse
    To live free of the tribe
    To be part of oneself not one of the family

    When could there be a better time to break free
    The air is so soft
    The buds about to break forth and
    all around lie new beginnings

    Look at these hands
    They are mine and these limbs
    Belong to me
    I have never been before this moment

    Nothing owns me
    I am one with the universe
    I am part of the future
    I am complete

  4. PrismPromise

    A crazy quilt I hope to make
    With pieces from the past
    I pick them up each one by one
    Beginning at the last
    Remembering I feel each piece
    Its texture and its depth
    The colors speak out vibrantly
    They echo in my breast
    The pain I feel remembering
    The grief and sadness bleed
    For each piece has its own account
    Remaining in the stead
    Each part has a larger breadth
    If all the story told
    But all I have are memories
    Of peace lived in the cold
    For peaces always are short lived
    Interrupted by the strife
    We all impose on global scenes
    Within our short lived life
    Now I pick them up a piece
    And place them in my heart
    Built I try a living peace
    I try to do my part
    The quilt I make a token of
    The pieces now unfurled
    A world at peace; a world at large
    Peace blanket for the world


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