The Drinker’s Fallacy

Pub where Poet John Berryman (C) is talking to other customers. (Photo by Terrence Spencer/The LIFE Picture Collection/Getty Images)

I might need to apologise in the morning, but…

 

Is this a poem? –

 

I stood in my kitchen staring at the floor,

so many gatherings happened here,

and now I am hungry

and the kitchen is empty.

 

Or just a sentence that has fallen down a stair case? Splitting a sentence up over several lines does not make a poem.

The above is original but it is an example of a lot of stuff that is out there at the moment. It is why I have failed to enjoy poetry when I have tried. I have, for some unknown reason to myself (as I am a novelist at heart), started writing the stuff. I don’t think poetry needs to sit in the romantic teenage angst corner of the literary world, but it is hard for the stoic amongst us to find our way in. I love words, and I think poetry is well suited to them, but the above is just a pointless cop-out.

There is a satisfying cadence to the English language that can be showcased with poetry. Breaking up sentences and pretending it is art is an insult to that. Write better.

 

 

 

5 Comments Add yours

  1. I partially agree with you, though I do like free verse, and think it is valid poetry (when done well).

    1. Free verse does have its place. What I really need to do is write more blog posts before I’ve had a glass of wine. Your poem yesterday, The Lone Shoe, was very good by the way. Was that shoe really found under the floorboards?

      1. Free verse has a place so long as it includes attributes of traditional poetry (imagery, metaphors, etc.)
        I often find I am better after wine 🙂
        Yes, it really was, one of builders found it. It’s an old house.

      2. Something like that can be a gift to writing. An old shoe. I like old shoes for some reason. They keep popping up as imagery and as photo’s to blog posts. Perhaps there’s some deep tragedy I’ve buried in my psyche involving a shoe.

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