The Poetry Fraud (Again)

Trent-mask

OK, I’ll admit it. I’m a poetry fraud.

I can see you step back in horror, your hand in a half fist held up with knuckles towards your mouth. “What,” you ask, “are you stealing all of your poems?”

Well, no, I write them.

“Then,” you ask, “do you not mean the words you write? Are you a cold, heartless person masquerading as someone with deep, poetic feelings?”

Huh? Well, I mean what I write, at least for the most part. I don’t know if I actually have deeper, more poetic feelings than anyone else, but I’m not pretending to be anything but me.

Your mouth closes and your hand drops. You give me a quizzical, semi-cynical look. “What in the world do mean by ‘poetry fraud’ then?” you ask.

‘Real Poets’ take time and effort over their works. They make agonizing decisions on word choices. They ensure the poem has the proper flow, the correct rhythm, maybe a good rhyme. They think about form. These real poets squeeze each word to extract just the right nuance of meaning. It’s a difficult process which yields wondrous results.

I’ve been posting a new poem every Tuesday. With very few exceptions the poems were written just minutes before I posted them. I’ll go take a walk and ask myself what I want to write about. Words come to mind as I walk. I’ll come back and write down these words. I’ll read it back once or twice and make a few quick edit. Then I’ll post the results. Actually, a few times I’ve just opened a new page, come up with a title and just wrote without forethought.

So there you have it, my confession. I am lowering the art, cheapening it.   I’m a poetry fraud.

On a more serious note, I really am in awe of some of the poets I read. I know they spend a lot of time on their craft. Anyone can write a poem and I encourage everyone to do so. Few, however, take the time to become real crafts-persons, few are real artists. So to you few out there, I take my hat off. May you continue to bring insight with your pointed words.

(Note – This was originally posted on 10 December, 2014.  The last few weeks I’ve seen a lot of people leaving comments on other people’s sites along the lines of “I like this.  I usually don’t read blog poetry because most of it seems to be written in 15 minutes.  If you’re going to write poetry, make sure you take the time to do it right!”  Well, I do it wrong.  And I’ve been uninspired as of late – this is the second poetry Tuesday I’ve missed.) So I’m back to the “poetry fraud”)

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13 thoughts on “The Poetry Fraud (Again)

  1. Pingback: If We Were Having Coffee – 7/25/15 | Trent's World (the Blog)

  2. petescribes

    I have described myself as a peasant poet, a jibe at my own education, my lack of adherence and sometimes knowledge of rules. Does that make me a poor poet or lyricist? Possibly! The truth I have come to realise is that the most important thing is to make connections with the reader. Sometimes a piece can take moments or years, but making the connection is what counts for me. Thanks for stirring the thought and making the connection :)

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    1. trentpmcd Post author

      You’re right – it is the emotions and the connections that matter most. I think many of us who write poetry try to say something that has meaning to us, and poetry is the only way to express it. It doesn’t matter if we use the correct form or rules, just that we express our ideas and feelings.

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  3. Corina

    I’m somewhat of a poetry snob. I like reading “real” poetry. Polished poetry. However, you are right, it’s the thoughts expressed in the poem that are important. The language may not match the feeling, the emotion, the pain, the joy…but if we can feel it anyway, then that’s a poem. I don’t write poetry myself because I’m too snobbish and I tend to censor myself when I write it. I did go through a period of intense emotional pain that brought out the poetry in me. I’ve shared those but it has been a long while. I might dust them off and reblog them here. Might.

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    1. trentpmcd Post author

      Different people like different things. I know that some of the best poets can take the time to make each word magic. For the best, that’s going to be remembered by posterity maybe that’s what it needs to be. But heartfelt poems, even if not quite there, can also stir something…

      If your poems still have meaning to you, yes post them!

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  4. Serins

    Except for my the weekly Haiku challenge I participate in I have not written much poetry lately. I mean I write the first few lines and then? Sigh, muse has gone fying out the window.

    I do enjoy the properly constructed poem. But sometimes a beautiful free verse or just write it kind of poem has a lot of meaning. If you don’t already, you should sample Laura A Lord’s blog. She really does the poetry well.

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    1. trentpmcd Post author

      I try to post a new poem at least once a week, but it’s been a few weeks. I think the poetry muse left me too.

      I do enjoy properly constructed poetry, but you won’t see me doing much ;) I have played around with different forms, but twisted them to my own needs. I might check out Laura A Lords blog – sounds familiar I might have had a look in the past.

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        1. trentpmcd Post author

          It is something to try. My Tuesday poem day started off as Haiku Tuesday, but I grew tired of haikus and wanted to explore longer forms. Part of it is right now 100% of my creative energy is music and it is hard to switch gears to poetry.

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  5. idiotwriter

    I disagree.
    I think ‘real poets’ write from the soul – if THAT is missing then words are mere words.
    I admit that there are some poems that take a lot of ‘agonising thought’ – and then there are those that are JUST written for the sake of it and then – there are the ones that are THAT important that like a rose needs the dew in the morning and in the evening – just MUST be given all proper consideration and attention to bring them to bloom in all their beauty and become an treasure to the reader.
    So yeah -0 anyone can strong together a few words that sound fun. But to be exquisite…takes a whole lot more than most people have the patience or inclination to give.
    Just a matter of reality….

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    1. trentpmcd Post author

      This was originally written as a bit of a joke. But for some reason I felt this way recently, I think because I’ve tried to force to many poems in the last few weeks.

      Sometimes I write what I need to say. Other times I write what I want to say. Too often I write because I feel i should say something, anything. I think I too often post a poem because it is on my schedule. But the poems that say the things I need to say, these are from thew soul. Sometimes I do agonize over them, but all too often, I write them, wipe my brow (figuratively) and declare it good enough, getting my idea down.

      I do need to learn which ones are those special roses that need the morning dew, that need the attention they deserve.

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  6. tHis tWisted yOuth

    I enjoyed these thoughts, and this is a tough one for me to decide on. Whilst I enjoy well written words, I also thrive from inspiration and provocation (no matter how poorly laid out) poetic or otherwise.

    In fact I would rather read something with good heart and content than some perfectly worded self indulgent and deluded dribble. Some of my poems are quick thoughts shared and some (before I had three kids!) were probably more carefully penned and edited, I hope I don’t clog up the feeds too much, but feel a need to sound ideas out. Anyhow, I enjoyed your poem, it provoked me!

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    1. trentpmcd Post author

      I think poetry from the heart is always, no matter how rough around the edges. Sometiems there are things we need to say and use poetry as a medium and if we can’t find the exact words, well, putting our thoughts and emotions down are what matters.

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