Imperfect

I sat, submissively. You stood, towering.
You, the PhD. Me the struggling artist.
My thumbnail kept picking at the edge
of the nail on my index finger.
My writing hand index finger. Odd.
You told me my poem was “okay,”
but it was not perfect.
So what, then, it was imperfect?
Faulty? Flawed? Defective? Unsound?
Wait, this was a “free verse” assignment.
It was meant to not have a regular meter.
It was supposed to simply “be.”
Perhaps my poem had “imperfect vision.”
Imperfectus: incomplete.
So you’re saying it was “missing something.”
Perhaps you don’t like unrestrained boundaries.
Your failure to appreciate poetry that is
absent fixed metrical pattern does not mean
my work has failed as poetry.
Non-metrical, non-rhyming lines often
closely follow the natural rhythms of speech.
Perhaps this is the very purpose of
an imperfect poem.

©2016 by Steven Barto

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One thought on “Imperfect

  1. See, I used to think all poems should rhyme, but I’ve read so many poems over a long period of time and I’ve come to realise that they don’t have to. There are so many different styles of poems, and even then the rules of those poems can be broken. No poem is imperfect, they are all different. We all use different words, metaphors, similies etc… and there are no rules to poetry. Write to your heart’s content 🙂

    Like

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