I’ve been doing it for a while, so of course I’ve realized
that poetry is fairly universally despised
Poetry is like the Nickelback of literary genres. At some point people started making jokes about how much they hated it, and at some point it became the cool thing to say, and now lots of people hate poetry without even knowing what it is.
Which is part of the problem. Even people who call themselves poets don’t agree on what it is, much less what it should be.
Should it rhyme? Well, I think it should, but I’m in the minority. Also, if you say that only rhyming poetry is poetry, what do you call that other stuff, you know, where people string a lot of words together, have illogical juxtapositions which they pass off as metaphors, and say something about their lousy childhoods and swans dying in the canals, but don’t rhyme or have much of a point, really.
Songs rhyme, advertising jingles and greeting cards often rhyme, but a lot of people don’t consider those poetry.
You’ve either got to allow that to be called poetry, and the people writing that sort of thing, who are legion, do, or else come up with a different term, which shouldn’t be too difficult, being poets and all, but nooooo…..
Should it always make sense? Well, I think it should, but I’m apparently I’m in the minority there, too. Of course, there have been classical gems like Jabberwocky which are deliberate nonsense, but that’s different. The Jabberwocky used a lot of words which aren’t precisely English, but it told a story, a story within a story, and was highly entertaining to boot.
These are the things I try for in my poetry, though. Rhyming and making sense. Meter, too. Meter’s important, but there’s nothing I really have to say about it.