Also, there's this thing about called free verse. I can't exactly explain it except by analogy: free verse is like free love, except without the orgasms or the nudity. And as for free love, as everyone knows, it is a progressive and important social development, which is why most people keep on getting married. Free verse is another progressive and important social development, and consequently, this explains why many people keep on reading poems with rhymes and verses that scan.
All that is by the by: but, just last night, I noticed another, singularly malicious tendency of poets.
Poets have a habit of reproducing.
Now, in most cases this itself is commendable, although if you are a poet who believes in free love as well as free verse, you might have difficulties with this. (The whole point of free love is not to have babies: you wouldn't want to stretch the free love too far, you see.)
However: many poets have a habit of reproducing and then writing poems about the progeny whom are their reproduction.
This, too, is in itself fine, and has led to many superb examples of the poetic art: Peter Skrzynecki* has done it. Yeats has done it. And Komninos has done it, too.
Nevertheless: after the writing of these poems, the poets have a habit of publishing them, circulating them, and reading them to audiences decades after the birth of their child.
Like all philosophers asking the hard questions, like Job challenging his God, like the toddler asking his father why he cannot probe his proboscis with his pinkie on the tram, I find myself trembling with anguish as I ask the inevitable question: why? why? in God's name, why? Isn't this just the verbal equivalent of taking nudie snaps of your children as babies, and then dispatching them to that child's first date? Or circulating them round to guests at the wedding?
In this day and age, ought there not to be letters written into the paper, people calling up radio stations, having hard discussions with their local members, and laws made in the parliament about this legitimate case of child abuse? One hesitates to use the term**, but isn't this the most obvious case for a hue and cry that you have ever heard?
Poets! Think of the children! Before it's too late!
*To pronounce his name, just put a bucketful of coleslaw into your mouth, and gargle. To spell his name, take a swig of vodka, throw a bunch of scrabble letters at the board, and panic.
**One also hesitates to use the term 'one hesitates to use the term', but there are times at which one must use the term 'one hesitates to use the term', unhesitatingly.