"How Glad I Am for Man, Tonight," carries forward the same banner. In his introduction, Donway writes:
"Free verse is the dogma, the orthodoxy, of contemporary poetry--in the journals, classrooms from elementary to college, poetry workshops, poetry slams...
"My conviction is that free verse represents a kind of esthetic nihilism (in most poets, not explicit, but merely absorbed) that dispenses with representation in the visual arts, with melody and tonality in music, and with plot in “serious” fiction. In each instance, the rebellion is against the defining characteristic of the art form.
"One consequence of the increasing domination of poetry by free verse for more than half a century, now, has been loss of the popular audience for poetry. This is not because audiences have been slow to adapt to new trends. The free-verse trend, by now, has far exceeded the span that earlier audiences needed to adjust to legitimate variations in an art form. No, the audiences for poetry, today, are not chiefly those who fell in love, perhaps in school, with Shakespeare, Coleridge, Keats, Hardy, Arnold, Owen, and Frost. Those people hate poetry, today—have given up on it."