I don’t like it.
I love writing poetry. I tell people I’m close to that I write it. Sometimes if I want to avoid the topic, I’ll talk about what I’m reading.
I don’t like it because there are too many times where I’ve heard “I don’t like writing.” Or I hear “I don’t get poetry.”
Do you guys ever feel that when you introduce yourself as a poet people are going to think you’re a teenager?
I mean, my room mate and I watched a couple episodes of Pokemon but only because it was on Netflix and it’s so easy to push “Play Next Episode”.
But people who say they think that poetry is about not making sense will bust up laughing at this:
Thanks for simile, Jonah Hill. Plus, yes! We love the Beatles! Words, and the sounds of words, matter to us.
There are a lot of misconceptions about the poets I hear people talk about versus the poets that I have read, have taken classes with, or have shared a meal with.
They definitely don’t talk in the voice that you use when you imitate a poet.
There is wonderful lucidity to their poetry.
When I recommended that my dad read the verse novel Ludlow, which was written by my professor at the time, David Mason, his response was so amazing. He said, “Everything was so clear.” The story mattered to him and so did the words. (By the way, Dave took Ludlow on the road throughout Colorado (where the novel is historically situated) while he was the state’s poet laureate, and he met people who also weren’t big poetry readers–but it was a story they remembered hearing about as kids, or had family members mentioned in the book (and they liked the book, too (am I using too many parentheses?)))
And the reason I love reading and writing poetry is because it helps people talk and remember. It especially makes them memorize and share.
Have you ever heard someone respond to a painter, “I don’t like painting”? No.
Well, maybe you’ll hear someone ask, “Are you any good?”
Those guys are assholes.
No poet becomes what they do without a fair (or unfair) share of backlash. Why do you love poetry? Because it satisfies your life on earth.
Tell someone that when you’re at a party full of people you don’t know.
And I love parties. I also always loved Sir Philip Sidney’s line from Defense of Poesy. For folks that couldn’t be convinced of a human’s spiritual need for language, he wished them thus:”When you die, your memory die from the earth for want of an epitaph.”
I won’t ever say this to anyone who thinks my scribbling is a waste of their time.
I might buy you a second-hand copy of The Waste Land though.