18 October, 2010

What is a great poem?

I was once fortunate enough to have a English/Literature teacher review and give me her impression of my poetry. Now mind you she also was a poet who wrote only in a free verse style (you'll see the value of that sentence soon). So we met and conversed about my poems and such...(I personally enjoy writing poetry in rhyme, but I did and still do dabble with the free verse style.) After a brief conversation I found something was quite peculiar about her comments and notes. Wouldn't you know the only poems she "liked" were the few I wrote in the free verse style. Which brings me to my question: What (besides opinion and at times a bias) is a great poem? This is a topic that probably boggles the mind of many. When judges look at your credentials what do they look for? If you have none do they just cast you aside? Why does one have to pass away in order to get any recognition and appreciation for their life's work?