What is a poem
Ever been flicking through some posts, seen the heading ‘what is a poem’ and had to fight the urge to rake the back of your eyeballs with your fingernails?
Don’t worry if you have, you’re not alone!
But have you ever asked yourself why? What is a poem? Why do you react like this?
Confession time before I go any further.
I’m a poet. Amongst other things.
But a poet? Yes, it’s true. I used to think it was something I could give up any time I liked. Like pastry. Or shoes. It’s not. It’s in the blood. Nothing else to do but embrace it.
So now I’m a proud perpetrator of poetry on a weekly if not daily basis.
You might think that being a poet would make me more amiable and open to other peoples work. Like Toyota drivers waving to other Toyota drivers just because they’re Toyota drivers.(They do, I know. I was one.)
But it doesn’t quite work like that.
I’m always poised to click – expectations set high – I love good poetry. It’s going to be good, it’s going to be good. It’s not good. For me. But it might be good for someone else.
Because poetry is massively personal. Style, rythem, content, tone, form – it’s all got to gel.
So what is it about poetry?
Well it doesn’t help that most people’s memories of poetry are blighted by angst ridden teenage bleating or incomprehensible sagas and sonnets at school. New flash. Real news, not fake news. That’s all in the past! Times, they have a changed.
Modern day poetry has unfastened it’s stays, stretched wide it’s liberated arms and embraced structures and forms that it had previously shunned. What was once a mere sentence now rises as a poem. A phrase, even a thought can hold it’s own, alone.
Millions, and I mean millions of single sentences, thoughts, phrases and random handfuls of words now proudly present themselves to the world as poetry. And why shouldn’t they.
After all, poetry that doesn’t rhyme gives some people heartburn, and other’s’d rather direct traffic than dive into some Pam Ayres. Short, long, rhyme, no rhyme, sentence, phrase, pithy comment, under the ever expanding umbrella of poetry it’s all up for grabs.
Whatever your position, don’t care, interested, disagree (there’s always one) backing away now…there is a well of absolutely fantastic, moving, emotive, funny, wonderful, exciting, challenging poetry out there.
And they’re counting on you to find them.
To read them, feel them, share them. To find out what’s in a poem. All you’ve got to do to is be brave. Just click.