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More Thoughts on Poetry


Generally, people thought poetry to be instruction, but most poems are an ending of themselves containing not just ideas on how but pure pleasure. Just the pleasure of the poem.

What made me think of that is all the analysis people heap on poetry. Some goes beyond analysis and into scrutiny and criticism, enough to break a poem’s back.

Defining poetry is risky – but a risk that every poet gladly takes. Perhaps poems lie somewhere between honesty and fantasy. Total truth would be reporting. Pure fantasy, meanwhile, would limit the possibilities of interpretation.

Naturally, poetry has as many definitions as those of us who make up poems. A poet’s explanation of what a poem is or should be is different every time he’s asked. Words are always being re-examined, redefined every time they’re put together in a different way.

The real enemy of poems is the elitist who would put it in a shelf only for a few to read when it is needed more by the masses than the privileged. The privileged have so many playthings already – knowledge, enlightenment, and the joy of words – as just a few toys like sports cars, laptops, and bling-blings. It is the ordinary people – extraordinary in their treatment and their need for learning, who should befriend and house a poet.

We write our lines and rhymes specifically for someone, that’s true, but anyone should be able to find a treasure or two in them.

True poets do not berate each other, it is not of their nature. I am grateful for all poetry. The good I try to ingest, the not so good might get a glance. The downright bad is easy to forget. To dwell on it or call it names is to risk injuring your own work.

Years ago a certain person made a much-analytic comment on one of my works. She was known to be also a writer, although not a part of our college paper, and claims to love reading/writing poems. Time came when I had the opportunity to read one of hers and my co-writers wanted me to comment on it, hoping for a “get-even” sarcasm. Seeing that I’m not reacting, they humiliated her poem with machine gun words; I can remember my college editor remarking “I can describe that poem with 50 adjectives in one minute!” And, yes, he did.

As a matter of fact I didn’t like the poem, or her use of words, so I just kept silent. Real poets know that they are a family, to degrade another is to diminish one’s self. Criticizing has always been easier than writing, but poets don’t take the easy road or he wouldn’t be a poet.

Long ago I realized I couldn’t please everyone with my writings, but the objective was never to please but to impart, to share. Even so everyone doesn’t get “it”. Whatever it is is obviously different for everyone and that’s exactly as it should be. My “it” isn’t of the one-size-fits-all variety.

With this, I thank every one who appreciates my poems, you are the reason why I want to keep on writing and improving. I’m getting better at what I do as I learn and grow more but I know I have yet to do my best work. Even without the monetary benefits, I know poetry has its way of enriching us. Besides, there are more in life than the things money can buy.