"Be it in a form as simple as a rhyme
Scheme, or as drastic as Ernest Vincent Wright’s
Extended lipogram Gadsby (50,000+ words, none of which feature the letter
“E”), constrained writing ought to appear effortless.
Naturally, few authors are endowed with the craftsmanship and ability
To avoid both the pitfalls of free
And structured composition.
When such attributes falter, and grow remiss in
Their persistence, providing a peek, as it were, behind the great divide between author and audience, constrained writing
Loses its art. A poet using a ludicrous rhyme
Scheme and rigid meter is far less profound in his act of creation
If he cannot avoid a “purple” word choice to accommodate
His structural choices, and absolutely so, if the form does not enhance
The material and its significance."
That was written as a paragraph initially, but by chunking it, to be coarse, into lines of true and slant rhyme, without any thought as to the implications they may have, I have constructed a piece of “creative” origin. Though constrained after the fact, can this piece too be argued as a work of literature, let alone art? Grandstanding, though not specifically in reference to the piece at hand (Duncan’s “The Greenward Palindrome), to be clear, is not a feat of artistic ingenuity.
As one who writes poetry, I am able to declare with total conviction that a poem born of prose is still prose, until its structure is manipulated to inform a meaning and to be informed by the subconscious forces within the poet that create such meaning.
Criticism is a practice engorged with readily accessible ways for one to misconstrue and misconceive. The act of writing should never, ever supersede the vital product it begets.