The Society of Classical Poets is pleased to announce the publication of its First Annual Poetry Journal, available on Createspace and Amazon.  Below is a preview of the Featured Poets and Introduction.

Featured Poets

Andre, Kelly
Ash, Deron
Azriel, Yakov
Braun, Graal
Brugaletta, John J.
Carrington, Enriqueta
Covelli, Robert
Chida, Javeed
Craig, Felton
Dolnyckyj, Zenon
East, Samuel
Elkin, J.C.
Embree, Mary
Hammill, Rowena
Hill, Ruther
Hone, C.Q.
James, Leland
Kotsybar, James Ph.
Lee, Wayne
Longpre, Lacey
Mantyk, Evan
Marx, Camilla
McCombs, Amy
Meisenheimer, Glenn
Meister, Loetta
Morgan, Jennifer
Munro, Dawn
Nordstrom, Alan
Philipp, Joshua
Robin, Damian
Robson, Keith
Sadler, Lynn Veach
Shook, Don
Sibert, James
Skorbach, Dan
Sonkowsky, Robert
Stratford, Meryl
Wald, Catherine
Wise, Bruce Dale
Williams, Mary V.
Yarbrough, A. Michaelle

 

Introduction

“Poetry is dead,” I said to the room when someone asked me how my poetry book went. I knew that the person I was talking to would agree. How did I know? Because, most people don’t read poetry or even understand why one would purchase a book of poetry if not for a college English class.

Falling from its place at the pinnacle of society and culture, new poetry has been relegated to a weird niche, similar to relatively obscure Olympic sports like synchronized swimming.

So then, why would someone who believes that poetry is dead set out on the weighty task of starting a poetry society and publishing a poetry journal such as this? Because when I said “poetry is dead” I only gave half of the truth. There is an old French saying, “The king is dead! Long live the king!” Meaning that when the king breathed his very last, a new king was immediately crowned by law. I think it applies to poetry today as well. Let it be clear then:

“Poetry is dead! Long live poetry!”

What is the new poetry like? Like the blurred vision of a dying old king, poetry today is characterized by formlessness, throwing out the forms like meter and rhyme that millennia of poetry was built on. Free verse has taken over the field and blurred the line between prose and poetry.

The new poetry is king. His vision is clear and crisp, 20/20. We do not publish free verse.

The old king is incontinent. He wets himself. His body has lost all sense of propriety and decorum. Poetry today has placed vice over virtue and often makes a mission of disposing of propriety and decorum.

The new poetry is king. He places virtue over vice. He understands that getting to the truth and being compassionate do not mean surrendering propriety and decorum.

The old king has lost his mind and is not particularly nice to listen too. Thus, he is not popular and, compared to the past, relatively few understand why reading and writing new poetry are worthwhile anymore.

The new poetry is king. While faith in the monarchy has been all but extinguished, The Society of Classical Poets strives for poetry that is understandable and appealing to the common man. Like the self-evident truths that forged America, it just makes sense.

***

The poetry contained herein is primarily selected from the 2012 competition, including poetry by the winner, Alan Nordstrom; four honorable mentions, Leland James, James Ph. Kotsybar, Keith Robson, and Damian Robin; and many others. The poetry has been organized into five topics/chapters meant to make them easily engageable.

“Chapter I. A Renaissance” is an examination of where poetry is at today and where it should go in the future. It is about the need to return stylistically to pre-modern poetry and to the forms left by great poets throughout the ages. The overarching themes of this chapter extend into all of the arts and modern aesthetics in general. This is inevitably the future of our culture and art.

“Chapter II. Nature-verse” is an exposition of essentially neo-Romantic poetry that is steeped in the natural environment we live in as human beings. Open up to this chapter on a nature walk or hike in the woods, read a poem, and feel the harmony between nature and mankind.

“Chapter III. The Meaning of Life” wrestles with the big questions in a way that only poetry can. Amidst the vacuity of a materialistic culture, it is these sincere thoughts and profound insights that add the highest value and quality to our modern lives. When you are feeling confused or frustrated by life, open up to this chapter.

“Chapter IV. Songs of Virtue” paints portraits of those models and virtues worth contemplating and emulating. Read these for inspiration and read them to your kids to build their character.

“Chapter V. Humor” is, perhaps, in no need of explanation. Just enjoy it.

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One Response

  1. Mary V Williams

    I have just written a villanelle, a difficult form and one I’m not sure I’ve mastered yet. But it was worth the struggle, because it has shown me that, like music, poetry needs shape and form and, to be memorable, it also needs rhythm and rhyme. However, I enjoy free verse too in the same way I enjoy abstract art as long as the painter/poet is trying to tell me something I haven’t heard before and the execution of it is good. A poem such as Dylan Thomas’s Fern Hill works because of its rhythm and way the words build upon one another, but it also works because of the poet’s passion, though it has no clear classic form. In the UK, we have a legacy of
    classical poetic forms which though wonderful to read are also constraining, and it took Walt Whitman and others to show us other possibilities. I shall enjoy this anthology for the variety if offers.

    Reply

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