Verse competitions are a frightful curse.
They make you wrack your brains to find fit lines
Drawn from experience whilst pressured by
Limits of space and time set by the rules.
Some find it hard to work creatively
In circumstances such as these because
Their inspiration is inhibited
When brain and mind are shackled by the chains
Of arbitrarily imposed constraints
That can’t be disregarded. Though they try
To liberate their thoughts and feelings, their
Imaginative alchemy remains
Confined, cramped, curbed and contraried.
Tends to mere artifice, designed to match
Criteria irrelevant to free
Expression of authentic poetry.
Most poets might prefer their skills to be deployed
Untrammelled by restrictions that they can’t avoid.
J. A. Bosworth