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by Vera Ignatowitsch


Many love good poetry. Too many are wed to either formal or free verse. Good poetry is good poetry.


On this page, we invite your submissions of formal poetry, in traditional forms from sonnets to villanelles, to blank verse, as well as submissions of rhyming poetry.


Really good rhyme touches the child in us, and this is a magical thing when the content of the poem also engages the adult, with all the life knowledge and range of experiences gathered through living. On this page, passions and emotions are a good thing. We’re not looking for the sentimental, only for the emotionally authentic.


Formal poetry uses conventional forms to evoke a sense of musical rhythm. This rhythm, or ‘music’, is something that I believe we are hard wired to respond to. As with rhyme, the musical rhythm in good formal poetry flows naturally, without tortured or artificial syntax.


We will begin publishing selections from your submissions in the December, 2016 issue of Better Than Starbucks. For now, we’ll simply offer two of the most famous and beloved poems, a classic in iambic pentameter by William Butler Yeats, and a villanelle by Dylan Thomas.




When You Are Old

by William Butler Yeats (1865-1939)


WHEN you are old and gray and full of sleep,
And nodding by the fire, take down this book,
And slowly read, and dream of the soft look
Your eyes had once, and of their shadows deep;


How many loved your moments of glad grace,
And loved your beauty with love false or true,
But one man loved the pilgrim soul in you,
And loved the sorrows of your changing face;


And bending down beside the glowing bars,
Murmur, a little sadly, how Love fled
And paced upon the mountains overhead
And hid his face among a crowd of stars.


First published in 1892


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Do Not Go Gentle Into That Good Night
by Dylan Thomas (1914-1953)

Do not go gentle into that good night,
Old age should burn and rave at close of day;
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

Though wise men at their end know dark is right,
Because their words had forked no lightning they
Do not go gentle into that good night.

Good men, the last wave by, crying how bright
Their frail deeds might have danced in a green bay,
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

Wild men who caught and sang the sun in flight,
And learn, too late, they grieved it on its way,
Do not go gentle into that good night.

Grave men, near death, who see with blinding sight
Blind eyes could blaze like meteors and be gay,
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

And you, my father, there on the sad height,
Curse, bless, me now with your fierce tears, I pray.
Do not go gentle into that good night.
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.


Published in 1952


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a quote:

“My feeling is that poetry will wither on the vine if you don't regularly come back to the simplest fundamentals of the poem: rhythm, rhyme, simple subjects - love, death, war.”  James Fenton

Formal & Rhyming Poetry

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