So my blog is 50 entries old. I never would have thought it possible.
A Poet's Idiocy
I was never enamoured with long-winded but truncated sentences that rhymed or not.
Poetic pretentious philosophical ponderings in abbreviated form with obscure meanings of whatever is being described is not something I generally enjoy in poetry. (There are exceptions.)
At our local poetry reading group,
I must confess to being somewhat bored
With descriptions of tangled clothes on the ironing board
By one single word after another,
Seemingly to state the obvious bother,
Of ironing clothes simply to impress,
Neighbours who could not care less.
I have always preferred the narrative notions contained in story poems.
But to get to the nitty gritty, it is Shakespeare, Ben Johnson, Tennyson, Taylor and their ilk that I liked as a student. I struggled with Homer's Odyssey and Shakespeare sounded nice but it took eons for me to comprehend the extraordinary richness in their work. Not a single word is unconnected to where he is taking his audience. Every poetic phrase is an insight into a human drama concealed in what almost seems to be infinite interpretation, yet is really just for holding the attention, for entertaining the audience. So simple. Yet by play's end we, the audience or readers, are more than when it started; it is cathartic, or at least it seems that way.
The likes of Sophocles and Euripides reveal through the poetry of their plays, hidden psyches of the human being, masquerading as the imperfections of "The Gods" that would have to wait over 2000 years for Freud to begin our understanding of the depth of their statements and intuitions.
The wandering minstrels of yore, told stories as they sang, as did that forerunner of the evening TV news, the "Town Crier." I wonder if they did commercials for the local traders? For example:
"Hear ye, hear ye, The king fell off the throne today,
And was assassinated by a masked woman,
In pretence of being a man.
She is described as looking a bit frumpy,
Last seen dashing towards a village nearby.
If thou hast any information regarding this woman,
Please contact the Witch-hunt office at the olde butcher shop in High Street,
Whence they will present a special on sausages all next week."
Poetry is everywhere if you will but look and listen.
"I think that I shall never see/ A poem lovely as a tree" is the first line of Joyce Kilmer's most famous poem, "Trees".
Yet within every poem is a distillation of an idea
Which may grow into a story of assorted love and fear.
The poet is more than just a writer of rhymes,
More than a chronicler who beautifies the times,
The poet sings of what he sees, in words,
So we will not kill them with our swords.
The poet will reveal what we have left,
By sharing the poetic life he has lived.
When thoughts and feelings demand to be heard,
Use of any old cliche seems absurd,
For only a poet knows how to choose a word.
Have no fear if you do not like poetry,
All you scribes, with your tales of love and strife
It's already in your ev'ry story,
As you are living the poetic life.