Steve, thank you for your reply. Perhaps I should not have used the word "perfect" because no one is perfect. Better to say that I am on a quest for the perfect poem.
That said, how a poem sounds matters. Maybe "May" and "jays" technically doesn't constitute a perfect rhyme. But to the ear it sounds a lot closer than does, for example, "twin" and "find".
Regarding meter, the accented syllables are 2, 4, 6, 8. However, I can see why someone might hear, for example, "SPRING calls" instead of "spring CALLS". Before submitting the poem, I tested it on five people and none of them detected a problem with the lines you mentioned. This is most likely because they were hearing each line, not separately, but in context with the entire stanza and the entire poem.
I am seeing many poems that kinda sorta have meter and maybe rhyme every thirty words or so. What disturbs me is there doesn't seem to be any clear standards regarding rhymed metered poetry.
At what point does it slide into blank verse or free verse? Or even prose?
And what about meaning? I am seeing many poems that seem to be a series of platitudes, interchangeable with a dozen other poems like it.
It is very difficult to attain perfect meter, perfect rhyme, creative wording, significant meaning, melodious sound, figurative language, etc. Isn't that what makes rhymed metered poetry special? Shouldn't we keep on trying?
If a poem has some good qualities such as good word choice, imagery, etc. but the rhyme and/or meter are flawed, I usually advise the person to keep working on it. "Don't settle", I say. But it seems that one can settle. Yet, as Jan points out, 99% of rhymed metered poems are rejected for publication.
In search of the perfect poem,