Today I have a question for all of you poets out there. I follow quite a few, and am amazed at the quality of your words.
My question: are you a poet in the educated way? I don’t mean did you go to college and MAJOR in poetry, but do you understand the various types of verses — not just the usual free form, ballad, or rhyme, but a tanka, lyric, and haiku?
Or do you just write what you feel and cut it up into short words or stanzas?
I had to look up some of the poetry styles above. Each form has its own rules. That’s the beauty of the outcome. Following the rules makes you understand the difficulty of the style. And from difficulty (usually) comes understanding and appreciation.
I have a computer full of poetry. Yet I’m not comfortable calling myself a poet. When I reread some of them it feels more like the second style — writing what I feel and cutting it up into short words or stanzas.
My second question: What is your goal when you write a poem?
Is it to vent emotion? Show appreciation of something concrete? To let the ethereal run through you? Is every emotion yours? Or a pretend someone?
A lot of the poets I follow use poetry as a way of keeping a memory alive. Or an occasion. Others’ dark poetry opens a door to their own (possible) darkness. Others sound more like a story in stanza form. And I am always curious as to what prompted those poems.
I wonder if writing poetry is like writing stories/novels. Most novels are pretend people and pretend situations, yet the emotions of the writer often takes over one of the characters…maybe even two. Novels need to make sense — they need a beginning, middle, and ending.
I see poetry as more of a passing thought.
I ask these questions, not to call you out, but to understand the world of the poet. You should be proud to call yourself a poet, whether you write “by the rules” or not. Whether you’re published or not. Whether you are Poet of the Year or not.
Let me know how a poet thinks!