Prosery – Prose Posing Poetry

I heard Richard Blanco delivering his beautiful ode to America – ‘One Today’ and tears welled up. I’m not American – but what an outstanding piece of prosery! (Which lead me to think of my brushes with poetry. Years ago, I was under the mistaken impression that the poems HAD to rhyme. Or it was not poetry. I’ve changed my stance since. But unlearning is tough!)

Prosery (Note: I have taken Poetic Liberties)
 
One upon a time, the poems used to rhyme
There were merry old kings and pigs with wings
Mother Hubbard had a cupboard. Mary was contrary, Bo Peep lost a sheep.
 
But Now.
Now, rhymes are gone, finis, khallas.
No rhyme – no crime, no eureka!, no reason.
(Back then, it would have been charged with unholy treason)]
 
Then, I read Vikram Seth’s Golden Gate
I learnt the neater iambic pentameter
(The first line to last. The rhythm was cast)
 
I read and I read, and poetry filled me
I thought of Wordsworth, his daffodils
I thought of Whitman, his leaves of grass.
My patriot tightened with Tagore
Shakespeare, though, in Seth’s pentameter
Was to my child mind a tragedy. An awful bore.
 
I found Haiku:
19
 Sounds of music
I heard. My bones.
 
I loved the limericks funny
To me it was more than punny
The poem’s wit
Just that little bit
Made me laugh with my nose very runny
 
I heard Coast-to-Coast music and swayed to pop
Simon, Garfunkel, Billy Joel and rock
I heard Tamil songs, some lovely, most droll
I learnt Carnatic, and discovered Soul
I heard tinny rhythms pounding in Hindi
I came across beat and singers who were Indie
 
I read books. Stories of courage, beautiful Prose
I read humour, wept and (again) blew my nose
Many times I stopped to wonder. Wonder at the designs
The thoughts, the plots
The heroes, the villains, the scenery, the lines
Oh! The lines.
Beautiful trains with words like ants, climbing vines.
And I wondered. If the authors were poets, in their spare times?
 
Then I read poetry. Angelou and you. Yes you. Yours
Poetry had veered a course
The river of rhyme to the ocean of Prose
A speech had rhythm, cadence and bounce
The President’s Poet now wore the Crowns
[Who needs childish jingles (Television?? Soap sellers? Hope sellers?)]
His words no more rhymed. Beat did not match with Meet. Or Feet. Or Sweet.
Rhyme, Rime was now past perfect. As ancient as the Mariner
It was Prosery.
Words that don’t rhyme no more, like Black Sheep. Cast away.
But built with cadence, strung with pulse
 
Yet, still. In Nurseries, teach rhythms to small ones
Tuning ears to music and beat.
And as the little fellows hum and tap their feet.
I think to myself – What a wonderful…Sweet.
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