Some 40 years ago, a new school of poetry emerged, one that today we’d call retro. Named the “New Formalism,” its poets engaged with traditional poetic forms, ones where meter and rhyme were integral. The best-known of the New Formalists are Dana Gioia, Mark Jarman, Molly Peacock, Phillis Levin, and Timothy Steele. They come from varied backgrounds, but they were all generally part of the Baby Boom generation, born in the late 1940s and early 1950s.
Another name for New Formalism might be “classical poetry,” the poetry that many of us grew up with in English and literature classes, like the sonnets of William Shakespeare and Philip Sidney, the epic poetry of John Milton, the story poetry of Alfred Lord Tennyson and Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, and the traditional poetry of Sara Teasdale, Emily Dickinson, and Edgar Lee Masters. Modernism, led by T.S. Eliot, Wallace Stevens, William Carlos Williams, and Dylan Thomas, was in many ways a full-scale assault on traditional and classical poetry.
One of the unexpected benefits of the internet and social media has been the renewed interest in poetry, and that includes classical poetry. Related to the New Formalism, classical poetry is beginning something of its own revival, and classical poets are finding each other and new platforms to publish their work. These include the Society of Classical Poets and The Chained Muse.
Poet Daniel Leach publishes classical poems on both as well as others.
To continue reading, please see my post today at Tweetspeak Poetry.