Poetry has hit the pages of my local newspaper, the Plains Producer(link). The newspaper reported, as one would expect , on the various events at the recent Adelaide Plains Cup Festival. In the editorial the editor, Terry Williams, commented on poetry in a rather derogatory way, wondering whether anyone but the poet would be interested in it.
I rang him that day, and we had a little chat. Terry's point was a good point - who can deny that some poetry is solely for the poet? We all write for a variety of reasons and sometimes venting one's spleen is the reason for a poem being created. Venting of the spleen doesn't necessarily lead to fine poetry. Sometimes it leads to absolute drivel, which has no meaning for anyone beyond the poet.
Anyway, Terry has a point, yes, but I reckon the poetry read at Mallala the weekend before last rose well beyond that point. Perhaps Mr Williams might like to come along in 2010 and hear what poetry gets awarded prizes, and is read out afterwards.
Mr Williams might not like a lot of what gets read though, he still lives very much in the poetic past. He likes bush ballad style and is of the 'poems must rhyme' school of thought. If he wants to be an old fuddy dud about it, that's his business. I've done a poll and I know I'm with the winning group who say whether poetry rhymes or not depends on the poem.
So Mr Williams will continue liking Banjo Paterson, and his ilk, and I and others like me can live in the present day of exciting new poetry.