People today write in all kinds of forms: sestina, rap, dub, blank, haiku, sonnet, ballad, fridge magnet and more. But what one person calls poetry, another doesn’t. Poetry is a big umbrella but there’s some pushing and shoving over who can stand under it.
Judging from poetry journals and school text books, the highest prestige poetry continues to be free verse. Has rhyme fallen out of favor? Why? Let’s take a look see and see what we can see.
No Rhyme?! That Ain’t Poetry I have heard over and over again — a discomfort with modern English poems as though they are vaguely heretical. Like “new math” half a century or so old, it seems to some, inscrutable.”When I went to school we studied poetry; it rhymed. It’s not poetry if it doesn’t rhyme” [Canadian senior]. Or, “To me this poetry my daughter is given in school in Canada is not poetry. In my language [Ukrainian] poetry rhymes.” “It has no good sound. I don’t understand this.” [Chinese man]