Hello Richard — you write with passion, and I agree with some of your sentiments, but the way you make your argument is unnecessarily antagonizing, and borders on obnoxious.

A side note — you are commenting on a poem published in my buddy Stephen’s publication, not NCiR’, whose name triggered your response. Further, you are commenting on a composition that does respect and celebrate meter and rhyme. Hence, you are barking up the wrong flora, Sir (get it? because the poem above is about vegetation … I crack myself up, but I digress …)

Back to the topic at hand. I think your premise is twofold: (a) that “traditional” meter and rhyme are under assault, by the “modern” free verse movement, and (b) that by saying rhyming is not a crime, I am being a meek apologist.

Funny, as I write this, I realize that under assault and movement all sound like loaded trigger words that evoke the culture war of conservative versus progressive principles. Everything today is political.

Is traditional poetry under assault? It’s certainly being challenged. If someone writes an eye-catching essay such as Poetry Doesn’t Have to Rhyme — ironically written by Zach who is editor of Sonnetry and a champion of structured poetry — it will attract thoughtful commentary and also pile-on applause from folks who barely read past the title but quickly embrace the validating message that “relaxed-fit poetry” as Zach calls it, is a-okay.

Now — is the title of my publication No Crime in Rhymin’ too defensive? I actually rather like that name, because it is rhythmic, playful, and captures the mission of that particular platform: the promotion of humorous, edgy, provocative verse. And I’m proud that we’ve attracted such a wide and varied field of contributors, some who are trying their hand at rhyme and meter for the first time.

About 90% of my poetry is metered and rhyming, the rest is … whatever … tankas, nonets, booze-induced-stream-of-consciousness. My co-editors Laura, Mary, Harper each have their own unique style but also swing between the various forms.

You end with the haughty imperative “Get rid of the nonsense title.” Damn, Rich, that’s no way to make friends. Or to influence people. But I think your heart is in the right place, and I thank you for stopping by to read and comment.

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Editor of No Crime in Rhymin' and Language Lab | the Woke Bloke ..."come for the sarcasm, stay for my soft side"

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