These are just my own thoughts on poetry, they are not right, wrong, or definitive and you may completely disagree with me. These thoughts may be repetitions of things I have already shared on Vocal and are mainly about how I feel and execute my poetry.
Before Vocal I had written hardly any poetry for fifty years and then there was a challenge that I thought I had entered but didn't realize what the entry mechanism was so I missed out.
Since then I have written a lot of poetry, preferring formal formats to the free form preferred by Vocal moderators, but that is what suits me.
But on to the meat of this article.
So Why Poetry?
This article is not poetry, it is formal prose, and as such is the format for most written communicative articles. The nearest prose comes to poetry is in formatted or unformatted lists.
Poetry is a way of saying something, often in a shorter form than a prose article.
Formal, as opposed to freeform poetry can also look like a formatted list, not like a full article.
Having said that freeform poetry can sometimes be indistinguishable from prose until you really get into it. That has happened to me many times.
The devil in me tells me that poetry is a lazy form of creation, but I need to remind myself that sometimes I will spend hours trying to work out the right line to fit into a line with the right rhyme and the right number of syllables. Poetry can sometimes be very difficult, prose does not constrain you in the same way.
Poetry is a sort of "Less is More " scenario, while you can have epic poetry, more than usually, a poem is quite short. My preferred forms are sonnet (14 lines) and villanelle (19 lines though only 13 distinct ones due to repetition) and many forms are shorter with no rhyme constraints, just syllable or word constraints.
That is possibly the point of poetry, to constrain yourself in order to deliver a focused message.
The oriental forms Haiku, Senryū, and Sedoka require discipline but are more open to abuse than most forms on the Vocal platform. I documented them here.
When you see someone publishing twenty or thirty a day, you know the effort is not going into them. It reminds me of once when I was working waiting for a printer, and a guy was standing next to it feeding it paper for a thousand-page Bachman Diagram that he tried to impress me with. I knew he was just wasting time and paper because that diagram would be unreadable even if he put it together. My Bachman Diagrams fit on a maximum of four sheets of A4.
Poetry is a way of presenting your ideas in a succinct format. Think of limericks, they can be serious though are usually funny or silly. Some of Edward Lear's are very funny, but they were not thrown together.
I seldom do freeform poetry but in some ways, this becomes more difficult to hit the right notes than with formal poetry. I always think I am being lazy because I have no limits, I am just trying a virtual shopping list, and to change that into an interesting set of lines that grabs the reader's attention requires talent and hard work from the creator.
I chose Buddy Holly's "Listen To Me" because of the title, not the lyrics because I want you to listen to my words.
These have just been a few of my rambling thoughts on why we all write, and enjoy reading poetry.
Very well written. Keep up the good work!
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