Re: Is loss of meter in poetry "decay"?
I wouldn't agree that metre only relates to accent: that would be to misrepresent Greek, Latin, and French prosody, for instance. An alexandrine of Baudelaire's is not to be read with a beefy British beat; and Clough's hexameters are fairly remote from Homer's tonal arrangements. (While among the English poets, for instance, Milton's rhythms seldom coincide with the underlying iambic pentameter.)
Originally Posted by Frank Antonson
That said, it seems to me that accentual verse has maintained itself quite robustly in the last 100 years. Here is a possible breakdown of the more significant British and American poets for that period:
1. Mostly accentual
Hardy, E. Thomas, Yeats, J.C. Ransom, W. Stevens, Larkin, Graves, Housman, Kipling, Frost, Empson
2. Sometimes accentual, sometimes not
T.S. Eliot, Lowell, Auden, Tate, H. Crane, G. Hill, Heaney
3. Mostly non-accentual
Pound, W.C. Williams, Berryman, M. Moore, Cummings, Lawrence, Roethke, Ginsberg
That doesn't look like a rout to me.
Not a professional ESL teacher.