It often occurs to me that my work would have evolved quite differently had I commingled with my contemporaries, who were writing free verse.
I have, in fact, been afforded a truly wonderful opportunity: I got to developing a poetic style that was honed by a focus on early, formal poetry.
Though I had yearned for community, those years of creative isolation served as preparation for my current and future state: that of bohemian poet.
By bohemian, I mean: "a person, as an artist or writer, who lives and acts free of regard for conventional rules and practices." Dictionary.com.
But, aren't poets generally regarded as bohemians by nature and purpose? In my case, within my circle of influence, I seemed to be a lone bohemian.
Like some hermit in a cave, I'd occasionally stick my head out to check on the weather by attending poetry readings or briefly joining poetry groups.
Eventually, I would pull my head back into my cave, and withdraw to the comfort of classical verse, in the company of those who did it well.
Such works were certainly not the preferred convention during my youth, in my arena, but I have lately come to realize that I was "not" alone.
Echoes has opened a door for me, through which I am now finding other clandestine, cave dwelling hermits who, like me, prefer to write in rhyme.
My message here, to the other rhymers, and to would-be writers of rhyme, is this: "It is very, much permissible to write rhyming verse."
I, for one, can't hide in my cave any longer; Echoes has made sure of that, as has my recent awareness of other apprehensive "older schooled" bards.
No, we are not the Lake District poets, nor were we born into their era. We are a verdant amalgam of "them and us," metamorphosing and renewing.
And, the cool part is: we rhyme because we can!