Sound and Sense in a Poem — Part 1

Speech is as natural to human kind as breathing. We inhale, and speech becomes potential, becomes a possible outcome. We exhale. The charge of air, mined of its oxygen, enters an Aeolian wind tunnel. The throat unseals and partakes. Sounding over the harp of the vocal cords, modified by tongue and teeth and lips, the […]

Is it Poetry or is it Verse? — Part 3

3. Verse, I have come to think, is poetry written in pursuit of limited objectives: to entertain us with a joke or tall tale, to give us the inherent pleasures of meter and rhyme. It is not great art, nor is it trying to be. Verse, as Orwell says, tells us something we already know […]

Is it Poetry or Is it Verse? — Part 2

2. Efforts to define the difference between poetry and verse (like efforts to define the difference between poetry and prose) have been with us for a long time. Verse is often a term of disparagement in the poetry world, used to dismiss the work of people who want to write poetry but don’t know how. […]

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