Tag Archives: semi-formal verse

Poem: ‘Hunting’

The Osprey splashes, misses, and flies by
skimming the waves, rising, five yards away.
What’s its success rate? Does it care?
The Stingray searches, gliding, mouth to sand
five yards beyond the shallows where I stand.
Its Roomba-work’s its own affair.
The water splishes, burbles random rhythms.
The sun confuses, over-hot, then hidden.
The Oystercatcher calls. The Osprey rocks
on its branch in a casuarina,
flaps down-beach to another.
Along the margins of the shore, alone, each stalks.
They hunt for food
and I hunt them for what they mean, or could.

A semi-formal poem: rhymes and slant rhymes, iambic rhythm, but little structure beyond that. I was hunting for a poem about hunting for a poem, and, well, you don’t catch everything you want every time…

Published recently in the British periodical ‘Obsessed With Pipework‘ – thank you, Charles Johnson!

“Osprey landing_9566” by Don Johnson 395 is licensed under CC BY-ND 2.0

Poem: ‘Love Poetry’

All the love expressed in poems overtly
Seems so pure they can be taught in schools,
Yet reading lives of all these divine fools
You realise that the impulses
That drove them to express themselves in verse
Include love that repulses
(Differing by era), and was forbidden:
Incest, same sex, underage, interracial,
Interfaith, cross-generational,
BDSM – even a pet, a dog.
Scandalous, and kept hidden,
At worst horrific and at best uncouth –
Yet all identity is just a fog
Of “You, my love”, expressed covertly.
And kids in school are never taught the truth.

Seriously, no one seems to pay any attention to the realities behind the love poetry that is taught and studied in schools. But much of the reason for the admired poem being so forceful is often that the poet was conflicted about being able to express their love at all – gay in a time of homosexual suppression is the one most easily identified now (in Shakespeare, Byron, etc, just as there are similar non-poetic gay passages in the Bible), but any strong but forbidden desire is capable of producing fine art.

This poem is not really formal. It has rhyme and meter but it is unstructured. Semi-formal, then, like much of the best work of Arnold and Eliot. It was published in that edgy, carefree journal the Rat’s Ass Review – thanks, Rick Bates!

“Love Poetry” by Kez Price is licensed under CC BY 2.0