Saturday, March 17, 2007
Not a poet
I'm no poet, but recently I have found myself conversing with poets and trying to understand the poetic form.
It's a different world out there in poet land, different objectives and different ways of achieving them. I've read more poems this last week than I probably ever have; mainly in an attempt to understand why I fail to 'get' a lot of modern poetry. I'm beginning to think that poetry is like a guitar - one of the easiest instruments to play and one of the most difficult to play well. And maybe that's why there's a lot of poetry out there which is, sort of OK but not particularly good.
So, if I am not a poet, then why am I bothering? Because, like a pianist who decides to learn the guitar in an attempt to become a better musician, I want to learn poetry to become a better writer. There is a place for prose to be rhythmic, melodic, to embrace metaphor and vivid imagery; those are all tools of the poet's craft. If I learn those things well enough to become a mediocre poet, maybe they well help me become an excellent writer.