I was inspired by some comments on my last post to explain what I think good poetry strives to be.
Good poetry invites you into another perspective, bad poetry says stuff.
Good poetry paints a picture, bad poetry paints a pet rock.
Good poetry is Godiva chocolate, bad poetry is an m&m
Bad poetry is a dime a dozen, good poetry is a treasure.
The think I hate most about modern poetry is that it ignores the delete button, shares something shallow or thinks that a beautiful word picture can be sacrificed for a trivial rhyme. Much of the stuff I've read lately has no rhyme, reason, meter or discernable structure. I would consider it creative writing - not poetry. I don't want to forget what I've read when I walk away, I want to consider a poem from many angles, bat it around like a kitten, unravel it and be delighted by the journey. I guess I have no reason to be harsh on modern poets. I know what I write falls under my own criticism so I'll swallow the rest of my rant. Here's one of my favorite poets sharing a moment.
Meeting At Night
by Robert Browning
The grey sea and the long black land;
And the yellow half-moon large and low;
And the startled little waves that leap
In fiery ringlets from their sleep,
As I gain the cove with pushing prow,
And quench its speed i' the slushy sand.
Then a mile of warm sea-scented beach;
Three fields to cross till a farm appears;
A tap at the pane, the quick sharp scratch
And blue spurt of a lighted match,
And a voice less loud, thro' its joys and fears,
Than the two hearts beating each to each!
You can feel what he must have felt when he wrote that poem. I don't know why I like the Brownings so much, there's a lot of their poetry that I don't get at first or don't like at first but I keep reading and about every few pages I come across a poem I really enjoy. So in honor of poetry month - read something! Give it a chance. Want an out of body experience? Watch the world through a poet's eyes and you will see beauty in almost anything.
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