21 Apr 2017

So, Marcus, does the poet have to be really intelligent, able to comprehend and interpret the world he lives in, clever enough to simplify the complex nuances of the zeitgeist, wise enough to read the tired tea leaves at the bottom of his cup?

Or live on a tangent, dredging his own yearnings, a child of nature disconnected from the random pettiness of the now, laying just his solitary heart out in row after row of blood soaked words?

It is the subtlety of the verse, the interlocked, often hidden messages, the finesse of craft, the unasked questions, the unanswered inquiries that elevate a poem. How can distancing himself from political and social reality, how can the absence of shrewd analysis, the inability to write between lines, to pause long enough to let the reader unearth layer after layer of pure joy… how can the ingenuous, the artless, the rudderless poem make its way to a reader?

Who is the reader?

I know the night has more stories to tell
but the rain keeps falling
but the rain keeps falling

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35 thoughts on “21 Apr 2017

    1. Thank you. That’s an interesting thought..that the poet will not be able to distance himself from the reality around him… something to think about!

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  1. I think the poet, any artist, must be both, of the world, yet choosing at times, to be separate from the world.

    The rain keeps falling
    while night tells its story
    of the need for light.

    Elizabeth

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      1. It is a possibility worth consideration. Even if the desire is to connect with other readers in a sense that is also for the poet. If someone reads and does not comment you will never know.

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        1. If the poet is writing essentially for himself versus writing to reach out and inform or improve or entertain then I wonder if the content will be any different. Or if the ability to connect with readers depends on the content at all.

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          1. I think that depends on why you write. There are blogs out there full of fashion tips with millions of readers that serve their readership and there are poets in dark un-visited corners of the internet writing their hearts out. Go figure.

            I think for me I write what I want to write. If people connect and acknowledge that then all good. If no one does I’m writing anyway.

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            1. I think that’s the bottom line.. why does one write. You’re absolutely right about the dark unvisited corners and the challenges of actually reaching readers. Is it a difficult decision to keep writing anyway- I don’t know yet.

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              1. I have found some incredible writing online and the poet has no readers and no comments. I have always pursued my art ( music, photography, writing) as something I love to do. I am lucky now that the music part brings me an income. The writing and the photography do not nor do I have any expectations that they will but I shoot and I write.

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                1. Appreciate that positive outlook Paul. I’m on the fence, as you can tell! Perhaps there is a long term view on this that I haven’t figured out yet!

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                  1. For what it’s worth I think you write really well. In all things we do I think we must be ‘in’ them. If we are not then we are not. Take a break. See what happens.Who knows what other roads there may be or if they circle back around to writing. Whatever you choose, go well, my friend.

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  2. Great questions! I think every poet has to decide individually – and perhaps with different answers at different times. And yes, the rain will keep falling regardless. (We think we are so important!)

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  3. Love these inquiries. And I believe the answer is a rather complex rain of tales that changes (and changes what it touches) as it spreads. The poet is her reader, but there will be others… When the poet writes, she exists away from the motifs she feeds into her poetry, but every word is part of her nonetheless. Poet and poem aren’t one (unless the poet wants them to be), but they are always part of each other.

    Really love this.

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    1. I like your description of the poet being able to distance herself from her work… part heart-part craft. And your conviction that there will always be other readers. Thanks so much.

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      1. I think that a poet who writes (and shares her writings) without understanding that there will be other readers (and that their interpretation of her poetry will be their own) will be a very sad and frustrated poet. Poets feed themselves into their poetry, and so do readers. So, by the time all is read and done, we rarely end up with the same poem. I believe that this is part of the magic of poetry.

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        1. Agree. it resonates in different ways depending on the reader, often in a way the poet has not considered at all!! I’ve sometimes read a comment and then gone back to read my own poem…trying to trace the reader’s line of thought.. it is a great joy.

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  4. A poet must write for oneself – for the joy of expression – for the “art” of it. Otherwise it is false, IMO. I do try and get my point across – but also realize my writing (like a painting) will be interpreted by a reader(s) according to their life experiences and ideals…

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  5. Thought provoking indeed.
    I think the poet must be both too. Stories given by those viewed as lesser beings have as much value as those who consider themselves elite. We all have worth.
    Anna :o]

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    1. A poem stands on merit, no matter what opinion the poet has of himself. The impact of the poem however depends on how far it can reach..and that creates the elitism I suppose. But we battle on…. thanks Anna.

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