Monday, January 30, 2006

On this day in literature . . .

~ 1956 ~ When asked in a Newsweek interview about writing free verse, Robert Frost snaps, "I'd just as soon play tennis with the net down."

I remember first hearing this quote by Frost in a college class, and for some reason it has stuck with me. I like free verse, as long as it has lots of other poetic features such as imagery and compression and sound devices. But I have a few students who can't stand free verse (we recently read Whitman) and heartily oppose my assertion that it's still poetry.

They really liked this Frost comment. :-)


Blogger Megan said...

Of course, this begs the question, "What, exactly, is poetry, then?" Does it have to be a traditionally recognized form? I am all for the studying of forms, and think that any writer who is really serious about the art and craft of writing needs to study them carefully, and use them in one's career; but, after all, one needs to know the rules in order to break them... :-)

I suppose I would counter the first question with the question, "Could this poem's subject and evocations be put into prose?" Most likely not. Often, the prose rendering seems to be without the little touch of leaven that makes a poem a poem, even if we can't pinpoint quite what that is.

6:30 PM  
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9:05 AM  

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