Several months ago I read an article written by a somewhat esteemed and learned member of an obscure, elite literary group who took it upon herself to define poetry, not so much by what poetry is but rather by what poetry isn’t. Words can not even describe how her thesis made me feel. But I will say this, and I will say it without any apology whatsoever: She is wrong. I didn’t even need to read her descriptions to know that. Anyone who sits on a sideline as a third party and attempts to tell others what poetry should or shouldn’t be is simply and entirely wrong.
Poetry is not about what she prescribes for others. And as I was just reminded recently by a lovely new friend, poetry is not even what the poet himself thinks it is. Poetry is only what the reader finds. Period. Poetry is simply art.
As an example, I do not enjoy Picasso’s jumbled art. It has no meaning to me whatsoever. But it would be sinful and a slap in the face to those millions who find his work enthralling to say that I don’t believe he was an artist….. because to them he certainly was that.
I hope you will enjoy my little poem written to the hardline critic in us all. Thank you for visiting………
Lost Indifference of a Learned Critic
What beauty will you find in words
that others found before you?
Will the twists of yesteryear’s poet
slip completely through?
His heart fallen to dust,
his feelings lost in time due?
His memory untouched,
his own Waterloo?
And should you find his pen at best
more comfortably in its well,
that his words find no solace
but in your solemn death knell.
A stretch of time has you sublime
to the feelings he would foretell.
But his words still there and bare
haunt you through the dell.
So go now, critic lord,
to worlds of wonderment.
Bind his words to unworthiness,
and for ever your abandonment.
But please leave with this,
most likely to his enjoyment,
that your learned and cultured pleasure
was probably never meant.
It is a gratification to me to know that I am ignorant of art, and ignorant also of surgery. Because people who understand art find nothing in pictures but blemishes, and surgeons and anatomists see no beautiful women in all their lives, but only a ghastly stack of bones with Latin names to them, and a network of nerves and muscles and tissues. – Mark Twain