Poetry of uncertainty

November 29, 1996

IN ACCUSING me of not being able to rhyme, (THES, November 15) Peter Knight clearly does not know his rhyme from his rhythm. My entry certainly rhymed, but as "verse in the 20th century has largely escaped the straitjacket of traditional metre", (M. Drabble (ed.), The Oxford Companion to English Literature, entry for "metre"), I felt empowered to use a free verse that echoed in its rhythm the uncertainties of the present age.

Here once again is my entry: We teach and research in great variety, Advancing pure knowledge and serving society, We have aims for today and all the ages, We produce men* of action and sages, 'On the one hand and on the other' is our cry, and 'to go on learning until we die'.

*and women

Lewis Elton University College London

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