Saturday, June 8, 2013

Bad Poetry? Of course, it is!

A poet who reads his verse in public may have other nasty habits.
Robert Heinlein, Time Enough for Love, 1978

I have found the quote by Heinlein I mentioned so many posts ago. I'm glad I remembered it correctly enough to google it.
I don't know if Mr. Heinlein liked poetry or not. Well, not beyond the odd limerick and the songs of Rhysling, the Blind Singer of the Spaceways from The Green Hills of Earth. And I think he liked Kipling. But beyond that I'm not entirely sure. I will leave it to more scholarly Heinlein students to answer that question but I don't think he liked many and the quote states that clearly to me.
I haven't been reading my verse in public but I've certainly been publishing it for all the world to see here.  I've never seen a study or made a survey but I can't help but draw the conclusion that a poet either considers their work to be very good or very bad. Yes, I consider mine bad poetry. Very rarely do I consider it good at all. Sometimes I think a particular poem approaches what I consider "acceptable" but that's about it. This isn't false modesty. To me it is simple fact.

Poetry is an emotionally dense medium to me. I love reading it but can only manage a couple of poems at a time then I must put it down and digest. If the poem is extremely dense I may put down after a few lines. My own poems are not as dense to me, which may be a matter of personal perception. On rare occasion they capture the moment and the emotions. I just keep trying. I have no ambition whatsoever to be a true "published" poet. Sometimes there will be one written especially for a friend who seems to enjoy it but that is as high as I wish to go.

One could, I suppose, study poetry, take classes, and 'bleed' on the paper (or screen) but that is so 'not me'. They are simply bits and pieces of my heart, however inadequate they may be. My heart sings and I, the musically inept, try to put it down on paper. So, to me, it's "bad" poetry---always "bad" poetry. If it happens to touch one person in any fashion whatsoever I smile and say "thank you". That is enough for me.

So, if you happen to like the poetry that appears here, thank you. And if you don't, that is perfectly alright. It really is. I will try not inflict too much on you. I do understand. It is bad poetry.


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