Monday, December 14, 2009


I do not want to be poetic. I do not want my word deposits to feel heavy and somber. The letters should have a mind of their own--think their own thoughts. Thoughts born of prose. Not poetry.

I'd rather give a thought flight. And there's plenty in the stuff of poetry that can't grow wings.

I dislike the sobriety in the cadence of a poem. I don't like the gravity. The plodding. Prose skips, saunters, and makes an entrance. While poetry, like so much smoke, tries to snake its way inside. It aims for sublime when outright bodes better.

I don't want to be a poet.

Poetry doesn't suit me.
My words don't want girth. They don't want to be bestowed with anything more than their shapes and their ideas. To record myself, prose is my medium. Not poetic prose. Poetic has a rough go at being wry. I'd rather wry than shy and blithe.

Bad poetry is saccharine, it's trite, it's trying too hard, and it's everywhere, pervading the good as comrades. Comrades incognito. Read a piece from a would-be poet and they fouled off the sublime they were aiming to hit. Instead we see the effort behind it. We see the trying to mean more, the trying to have heft. While bits of better poetry show no effort; each word carries its own weight and the sentiments aren't tangled in their own self-importance.

When you know that the poet put the piece together with intention to make you feel rather than to express how they feel, you are faced with bad writing.

Because the world, especially the one powered by cords and conjoined using invisible threads, has more bad poetry than good, we're so often smacked with bad. And I don't want it. I don't want it for me. I don't want my words to land on the page with a thud and refuse lift.

Now and again I feel a moment of poetry. But if I sit very still, saying nothing, it will pass, leaving me--and you--unscathed.


My25Cents said...

This post made me exhausted. Beautiful writing. Trying to find a better word. Exquisite. Raw. Unrehearsed. Thank you for not polishing it into a box with a pretty red bow. I found myself holding my breath through the rise, fall and phrasing. Thanks for the glimpse into what makes you tick.

p.s. Word verification: amuck

whitneyingram said...

This right here is brilliant: "When you know that the poet put the piece together with intention to make you feel rather than to express how they feel, you are faced with bad writing."

Well written dear sister.

Megan said...

I think you're exhausted, 25, because you were smacked with a piece of bad writing.

Sue said...

Guess that blows a hole in my dumb birthday poems.

Megan said...

I'm glad you know that's not even close to what I meant.

I write the same kind of thing.

Sue said...

Oh. I didn't. Do now.

Megan said...

Incidentally, why am I your only daughter who has never gotten one of those birthday poems? The boys even get them.

Jessica said...

You made me think about poetry and the fact that I don't own many poetry books. Although, I do love Walt Whitman. And I forgot to bring that book to Utah to get started on it.

p.s. maybe there's too much good stuff about you to fit into a birthday poem. Or, the Hen is waiting until your 30th for a giant poem extravaganza!

Mette said...

I love the word "sobriety". I cant believe you found place for it in a sentence.

You may not want to be a poet, but you ramblings are sucking me in, and i'm letting it.

Ryan said...

'tis good to want

Rabid said...

I read, re-read and
What light through yonder head that is hollow.
'Tis beneath my understanding.

Sometimes I think I'm so funny. Bad pote'ry and all.

Rabid said...

Very nice, by the way. Very nice.

Sue said...

Like I'm going to send you a poem after reading this blog post...