The other day I happened to glance at a book of poetry by Robert Lowell, reading a collection of his poems entitled ‘Near the Ocean’. I was completely unfamiliar with his work except recognizing the cover from many times before. It was work the grabbed me instantly. ( I am sorry I could not find an online version) .
While I know more about his overall poetic practice now after researching him, at the time the form struck me. The majority of the lines were rhyming couplets, but exceptions appeared frequently. Sometimes these stretched the limits of rhyming while other times he made no effort to force the work into this mold.
Here was a good example of how an artist can be informed by a method or system or even an idea and not become a tool of the tools they choose. What the balance should be so we prevent being lead into some robotic existence or blind worship of an arbitrary. This seem a pathetic state for the arts to choose.
Should we pursue looking for the methods or a way to find our way without them. I prefer the latter. But if we do use them we should always being the one leading as opposed to being lead.