‘In Praise of Formal Poetry’ and Other Poetry by Wayne Lee The Society January 12, 2013 Poetry In Praise of Formal Poetry Whether it’s ridiculous or sublime, we need the reassurance of meter, the familiar recurrence of rhyme. We yearn for verse that’s fixed in place and time, lines that march to a regular beat, or words, whether ridiculous or sublime, that echo each other like bells that chime in harmony. It sounds so much sweeter, the familiar recurrence of rhyme, the repetition of rhythm that climbs to a climax like epic theatre, whether it’s ridiculous or sublime, then subsides into silence like a mime gesturing wordlessly at a street fair. The familiar recurrence of rhyme lifts our souls beyond the effort and grime: when penned in iambic pentameter especially, the recurrence of rhyme provides both ridiculous and sublime. Thanksgiving For those who pray, and those who don’t believe there’s any higher power to pray to: we thank you God for all that we receive this day. For those who think it is naïve to trust in divinity, we say to you: Those who pray, and those who don’t believe, alike are blessed by this abundance we’ve been gifted. Thanksgiving is the day to praise and thank God for all that we receive, more from grace than anything we achieve. This simple prayer is simply a way to let those who pray and those who don’t believe— even those who can’t begin to conceive of deities—let you know they, too, say thank you God for all that we receive each in their own way. We ask now your leave to eat—for this is the holiday to let those who pray and those who don’t believe partake. We thank you God for all we receive. The Meaning of That Lilac Bush In your desperate search for reason, you scan the world like a lunatic: What is the meaning of that lilac bush, this backyard fence, that fountain pen? You speculate that every object has a purpose beyond what you can see as you wander past the Christmas tree, the coffee machine, the writing desk. Where did you go when you went away? Some say you had a stroke, others think amnesia, perhaps a psychic break. You have no memory of that day. All you know is you love coffee, there’s snow on the ground, and you are free. Wayne Lee (wayneleepoet.com) is a Canadian/American who lives in Santa Fe, New Mexico, where he works as an educator and journalist. Lee’s poems have appeared in Tupelo Press, The New Guard, Sliver of Stone, Slipstream, The Floating Bridge Anthology, and other publications. His awards include the 2012 Mark Fischer Poetry Prize and the 2012 SICA Poems for Peace Award, and he has been nominated for a Pushcart Prize and three Best of the Net awards. His collections include Twenty Poems from the Blue House (Whistle Lake Press) and Doggerel & Caterwauls: Poems Inspired by Cats & Dogs (Red Mountain Press). These poems are among the entries for the Society of Classical Poets’ 2012 Poetry Competition. Views expressed by individual poets and writers on this website and by commenters do not represent the views of the entire Society. The comments section on regular posts is meant to be a place for civil and fruitful discussion. Pseudonyms are discouraged. The individual poet or writer featured in a post has the ability to remove any or all comments by emailing submissions@ classicalpoets.org with the details and under the subject title “Remove Comment.” Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window) Related Leave a Reply Cancel Reply Your email address will not be published.CommentName* Email* Website Notify me of follow-up comments by email. Notify me of new posts by email. This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.