An ex-actress friend, newly into writing, complained to me yesterday: “it just is not in vogue to have poems that have a regular metre or rhyme.”
I think she’s right - it is a vogue. Depends where you read, I suppose; magazines will sometimes publish the most godawful crap if it more or less scans and happens to have rhymes. It also has to have a commonplace, even saccharine message. (I have submitted poetry that rhymed, scanned, and had a sharp message and had it rejected with a preprinted slip saying that it needed to rhyme, scan and have a message. Duh? But that’s another story and probably The People’s Friend would reject that too.)
“Serious” poetry appears to have lost the skill of writing meaningful, rhymed, metrical work. I don’t include rap because it only (sort-of) works if it has a synthetic beat behind it, and like most doggerel it dies horribly if asked to stand alone. Somewhere along the line, “meaningful” has branched off into free verse, leaving rhyme and metre in the children's section. And that's a shame. It's like creating jewellery, but restricting your materials to chromium and rhinestones. Why not accept all the tools that language has to offer?