By Paul E. Schindler, Jr.
“It don’t mean a thing,
If you ain’t got that swing,”
Is a lyric from long ago.
In poetry meter means swing,
But I find it a difficult thing.
Excessive attention to meter, methinks,
Can create poetry that really stinks.
When checking my meter, I made the choice
To listen more closely to my inner voice.
The words I had added to a verse last night,
Were added to make meter right.
This morning I looked, they lept off the page
Demanded to be put back in their cage.
I deleted them one by one,
Seldom have had more joyous fun.
The poem was much better
When I was done.
By the way,
It’s plain to see,
Rhyming now seems
To be stuck with me.
When I started writing poems,
I went with free verse.
Lehreresque describes my rhymes,
And yet I love that paradigm.
I must do what my Muse dictates,
No matter how early, no matter how late.
She says “make it rhyme,”
And what can I do?
If I ignore her, she acts like a shrew.
It won’t be a world-beater
If it ain’t got that meter.
That’s my motto now