James Fenton - Poetry Quotes
5 Sourced Quotes
When we study Shakespeare on the page, for academic purposes, we may require all kinds of help. Generally, we read him in modern spelling and with modern punctuation, and with notes. But any poetry that is performed - from song lyric to tragic speech - must make its point, as it were, without reference back.
Among those today who believe that modern poetry must do without rhyme or metre, there is an assumption that the alternative to free verse is a crash course in villanelles, sestinas and other such fixed forms. But most... are rare in English poetry. Few poets have written a villanelle worth reading, or indeed regret not having done so.