Georgia NeSmith
2 min readOct 11, 2021


Thank you for writing & posting this. I was astonished by Tessa Schleshinger's utterly misinformed (and OMG palpably IGNORANT) trashing of all poetry that doesn't rhyme.

Interestingly, I haven't yet seen her evaluate even one rhyming poem as "good," much less great. I ALMOST deleted my connection with her and blocked her from my page. I'm sorry, I don't know her work well enough to see her as otherwise a :"great writer."

It just boggles my mind to think SHE thinks she has any quality that gives her authority to evaluate all poetry in that way, given that it appears she really hardly knows anything about it. It's as if she had trouble interpreting poetry in her first English Lit course and decided it wasn't worth her time to learn more.

Frankly I doubt she has actually READ any poets that don't write cliches in iambic pentameter. Pretty sure the "masses" she thinks are not the audience for modern poetry would likely enjoy those writings that don't require signficant vocabularies and understanding of such things as metaphor vs analogy to grasp. I'm not saying that that's what "the masses" like, but rather that SHE seems to prefer poems that don't require significant intellectual engagement.

If her requirement for poetry be that it rhyme, I'd say whatever else she knows, she is totally ignorant about poetry.

Having a BA and MA in English literature with a creative thesis, I guess I'm the group she deigns "not the brightest spark in the book." Funny how she came to ME before I read anything of hers. I mean, jeez, my spark can't be that bright, I guess.

Never mind I went on to get a doctorate in mass media focusing on feminist analsyses of media history and gender, race and class analyses of said media.

Sounded to me like she holds a super big grudge toward her lit teachers. Maybe one of them gave her a C on a paper involving poetry analysis.

Quite frankly, I found that article quite insulting TO ME, even tho she didn't mention my name. It's like, English majors are dumb by defintion.

I would guess there's likely a great deal of pain underlying her assessment.



Georgia NeSmith

Retired professor, feminist, writer, photographer, activist, grandmother of 5, overall Wise Woman. Phd UIA School of Journalism & Mass Communication, 1994.