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”)