Carrying a Torch for Rhyme and Other Poems by Mary Embree The Society November 19, 2012 Poetry Carrying a Torch for Rhyme Rhyming is out, some poets say You can’t express yourself that way For when you try for perfect rhyme With metered words and rhythmic time It’s writing to a metronome You lose the essence of the poem A poem that you can understand They say, is obsolete and bland To be considered literature A poem must be abstruse, obscure And metaphorical and tense It’s not intended to make sense True freedom lies in untamed verse And order is a poet’s curse They say, it’s disconnected thought For poetry cannot be taught It’s bits of love and bites of rage It’s madness in a broken cage I’m sorry but I disagree They just don’t know their history Have they read Donne and Poe and Yeats? Do they think Wordsworth’s words weren’t great? And A.A. Milne, and Dr. Seuss Do they consider them obtuse? I love to read great poetry With rhythm, rhyme, and symmetry Whose words can put me in a trance Can make me cry or want to dance A ryhming poem cannot be wrong When, put to music, it’s a song My Muse My muse is not amusing and she can be confusing This goddess of the literary arts She says, “You know it’s funny, but you won’t make much money Till you’ve endured a few more broken hearts.” It keeps on getting tougher; how much more must I suffer before someone discovers that I’m here? Ten thousand words? A million? Or even several billion? She says, “Perhaps, but you must persevere.” “With every single letter your writing will get better. Just write and write and write until you drop. Your writing must be witty; your story bold and gritty So practice day and night and never stop.” She doesn’t have much patience. Does not allow vacations She tells me, “If your goal is to be great You just cannot stop writing; there is no sense in fighting for authorship has always been your fate.” I’m not her only student so it would be imprudent to think her words are meant for me alone She praises all the others, their sisters and their brothers And every other writer I have known She says, “Now write a sonnet and put your heart upon it and I will place some thoughts into your pen Begin at the beginning and when your mind starts spinning Relax and smile for that’s where I come in.” In spite of all her preaching, the lessons that she’s teaching propel me like a toy that she would wind She’s like a drug I’m taking but even if I’m faking I will not stop until I’ve lost my mind Although I’ve never said it my Muse gets all the credit I must admit that she is heaven-sent She may be quite sadistic but she makes me artistic and one day you’ll be seeing me in print Independent Love Apparently you think that I can always be controlled That I will gladly wait on you and do as I am told You seem to think that any time you want me I’ll be there to honor, love, and comfort you and show you that I care You think that our relationship is one of give and take But you’re mistaken if you think that love’s a piece of cake For we are very different in our philosophy You’ll never be the boss, you have no power over me I love the way you touch me and I like the things you do But I know what I want, and when I want it—not like you And even though we share a bed and cuddle every night I might not be beside you in the early morning light I won’t go get your slippers and I’ll never clean your house I won’t obey and cherish you Like some devoted spouse I don’t belong to you—I don’t belong to anyone My goals in life are sleeping, eating, playing, having fun You’ll take me on my terms, or not at all, and that is that You’re fine but I am splendid After all, I am a Cat Embree is a lifelong poet and writes short stories, word quizzes, and magazine articles. She lives in Southern California. These poems are among the entries for the Society of Classical Poets’ 2012 Poetry Competition. NOTE: The Society considers this page, where your poetry resides, to be your residence as well, where you may invite family, friends, and others to visit. Feel free to treat this page as your home and remove anyone here who harasses or disrespects you. Simply send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org. Put “Remove Comment” in the subject line and list which comment or comments you would like removed. The Society does not endorse any views expressed in individual poems or comments and reserves the right to remove any comments to maintain the decorum of this website and the integrity of the Society. 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