A few weeks ago, Losana Boyd, our director of marketing and a poet herself, wrote a positive review of Kathleen Graber’s new book of poetry The Eternal City for On the Square. The review drew sharp disagreement from some of our readers who felt Graber’s verse read less like poetry than an “audio essays on NPR, randomly broken up into separate lines so that the banality will seem slightly more profound”. This morning On the Square , poetry editor Paul Lake has weighed in on the issue and discusses the brokeness of modern poetry in general:

In the past, poets had a much wider array of devices to shape their poems and delight attentive readers: argument, narrative, allegory, extended metaphor, metaphysical conceit, to name a few. They also had a wide range of genres to choose from: epic, drama, pastoral, satire, dramatic monologue, epistle, lyric—along with a wide range of poetic forms, meters, and stanzas to shape their music. Today, the poetic mainstream is dominated by a more or less shapeless free verse, often written like Graber’s in long, rectangular verse paragraphs.

Articles by Meghan Duke

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