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It's Not Okay That You Forgot World Poetry Day

We need to get verse out of its hearse.

Yesterday was World Poetry Day, but it flew under the radar because, well, it was World Poetry Day.

With everyone abbreviating whenever possible these days, it surprises me that poetry isn't more popular.

In the days of yore I read a Guardian report which suggested that the reading and writing of poetry will soon be about as popular as morris dancing. This had me shocked and saddened. I never realised morris dancing was that popular.

I've always loved poetry. Apart from football practice and my geography teacher's plunging neckline, poetry was the best and most memorable part of growing up. From Spike Milligan to A.A. Milne, any writer who could make me laugh through the witty combination of words would find their books on my bookshelves, should they come and look for them.

You could say that Spike Milligan was one of a kind. I would both agree and at the same time argue that we will never know because any potential Spike Milligans out there won't be writing silly verse because no one's reading silly verse. Well, except for those morris dancers.

My only gripe with the Guardian report was that it rang true but didn't rhyme. Surely any opinion piece on poetry should itself be poetic.

I need to vent my woes. So here goes.

The Ode To Ruin

I thought today's lack of time

Would be a positive thing for rhyme.

I thought short attention spans

Would bring the limerick new fans.

But sales of things poetic

Are absolutely pathetic.

It appears that clever verse

Is headed for the hearse.

The rush to get online

Hasn't helped the art of rhyme.

Technology bonanza,

The death knell of the stanza.

Appetite for iambic meter

Continues to wane, to peter...

Out with the alliteration,

Not even in moderation?

Ode and epic – 't'was good to see ya!

Farewell onomatopoeia.

The saddest state of play,

What would Shakespeare say?

Baudelaire would despair

Ted Hughes would have the blues.

Lear would shed a tear

And Browning would be frowning.

Generation Y

To poetry have no tie.

But they could do much worse

Than fill their lives with verse.

It's perfect for this age

And doesn't fill the page.

Snippets of description

No cause for a prescription.

Nothing that should fret

Devotees of The Internet.

Nothing remotely taxing

On those allergic to lyrical waxing.

Even a total amateur

Can dabble in pentameter

Whose powers of persuasion

Suit the amorous occasion.

Next time you try to bed

The one you seek to wed

Recite a John Donne sonnet

And watch them remove their bonnet.

But who would be a bard?

It's getting far too hard

To sell your work to those

who won't return from prose.

Yet I have many friends

Who wish to buck these trends

Who've chosen to refrain

From farewelling the quatrain.

In bed, on bus, in bar,

even in the car!

They scribble every thought,

Although it earns them nought.

Rather than a revival

Poetry is fighting for survival.

Rather than hear it yelp

I would love to help.

I can't change the times

But I can revisit the rhymes

That cheered me as a boy

That were my favourite toy.

Words have made me more content

Than any invention, past or present

And I'll hazard a guess that the future

Won't rhyme.

But I will miss people putting words together

So that they amuse



Okay, I'm old. I realise that.

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