Although artistically minded, Wesley Biggs of Nashville, Tennessee, had always considered poetry beyond his creative reach – until he learned that it does not necessarily have to rhyme.
“I feel like such a doofus,” said Biggs. “All this time I’ve been thinking I had to be like Dr. Seuss. I can’t tell you how long I wracked my brains for something to rhyme with 'loneliness.' Phoniness was the best I came up with, which actually worked, but come to find out I didn’t have to rhyme at all or even pretend to. So many lines chased, words erased – all such a waste!”"
He gave a rueful shake of his head. “I wish they’d made it clear in high school English class that poems can be totally prosaic. I could’ve had a whole different career.”
After high school, instead of pursuing poetry, Biggs became a blogger about men’s health – a realm in which rhymes are almost never called for. “’Yo bro!’ was about as complex as it got,” said Biggs. “Although I did use that one a lot.”
Now that Biggs has discovered that rhymes are absolutely not required, he has embarked on a whole new journey in poetry, modeled after the life of poet Ezra Pound, whom he greatly admires.
“Free verse is where it’s at,” said Biggs, referencing the style popularized by Pound, who largely eschewed rhyme schemes altogether. “I enjoy the freedom of emotional expression unconstrained by rigid constructs. It’s just what works for me.”
That being said, in certain rare instances in his own poetic works, Biggs himself will not eschew a rhyme, in its time, that is truly sublime.
“Staying flexible is key," he said. “I think that's what distinguishes the good poets from the great.”