After reading an article on good/bad poetry,  I have to admit a bit of confusion.   I’ve read some current poetry that was just plain vulgar but was treated as great and I’ve read some great poets that couldn’t get out of the starting gate.  So what is it that makes one verse a devine inspiration and the next one crap?  Is it like a painting?  The beauty of a poem is what it brings out in you?  The emotions, connections, memories, thoughts?  To me, that’s the connection.  Each of these poems on this blog are the result of an event, poem, thought or realization that occurred.  I’ve shared them with the hope that they will mean something to you as they do to me.   And the response is positive, 95% of the time.  Sure there are nickpickers – word over that word, or form, sure I make mistakes.  But in general, they are heart poems.  

So, my poetry is ideas, thoughts, and day’s events in verse.  Sometimes a painful place I’ve been.    Sometimes, they are typed quickly before the muse grows tired and leaves.  Sometimes they are started and finished later.   I’ve read that good poets write, let them set for months and come back to them.  Maybe that’s my problem – with a few exceptions, they hit this blog right after they leave my muse.

Elements of bad poetry?  Well according to Mike Chasar*, they are predictable rhymes, figures of speech, predictable tropes and sonnet form.   I’m guilty of some of them.  He’s suggestion of a writer’s toolbox – set forms to write in and formulas is foreign to me.  I write as I  write – form happens as the poem happens.  I don’t necessarily write to one form.  But Mike’s point was that deadline poetry (that poetry written against a deadline) requires a faster draw, an ability to pull together form, timing, content in mere hours.   I have to admit,  I’ve participated in challenges but I don’t always feel this produces the best poetry.

I’d be curious what you guys think of this idea.

 

Dave Barber

19 December 2008

* Mike Chasar wrote the article in “Poets and Writer’s” magazine, Nov/Dec 2008, page 39 “Writing good bad poetry”

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