I answered, "Because I can."
I went on to mention that I have spent decades honing my craft. However, no matter what I said, her disdain for my work in verse continued unabated; work which she has never even read.
Although I am rather hypersensitive, meaning that I painfully care far too much and far too deeply about what other people think of me, I’ve managed to handle such harsh criticism, for the most part.
Fortunately, I have developed a sort of shield against these verbal assaults. I understand my craft, and I believe in what I’m doing. Whatever anyone says, I know that I stand on firm ground.
Poetry began to turn a corner in the 1880’s, and by the end of World War One, Avant Garde writers were finally accepted in the art the world, a world that became utterly, globally depressed.
That is when rhyming metered verse was pushed aside in favor of prose and free verse, as was fine art in favor of Impressionism, as was Romantic orchestral music in favor of ragtime and jazz.
I find it acutely ironic that prose and free verse are now well over one hundred year old, and yet rhyming poetry alone suffers from the perception that it is antiquated. Even this truth would not sway my critic.
Elbert Green Hubbard, a turn of the century American writer, publisher, artist, and philosopher ... and coiner of many remarkable sayings, said "To avoid criticism, do nothing, say nothing, and be nothing."
But I dare to study the masters, to work my craft, to strive within this most unforgiving rhyming metered form, to grope for depth, while striving to making it all appear effortless. So, there will be criticism.