Artistic effort is like steam. If enclosed and contained within limits, it generates power — otherwise it dissipates into nothing. A popcorn kernel pops as inner moisture struggles to express itself within an outer, restrictive shell. With no rules and no restraints, there is no lasting art.
Rules can be bent or broken, but first they need to be respected and understood.
Music requires melody, movies need plots, paintings should evoke emotion, and poetry – to be effective – should at least have some semblance of meter. One of my goals is to understand and study it. Is the poet restrained and limited by the use of meter? Well, yes – and he should be. Every artist must struggle within the bounds of his medium.
Humans aren’t abstract, so why is so much of our art? Because it’s easier to convince others in has merit. Too often, modern art is passed off as culturally significant, when it is nothing more than empty, avant-garbage that fails to move us in any way. I feel the same way about a lot of contemporary poetry.
So let us enjoy the past, and savor poetry of lasting beauty and significance.