I was astonished to realize that I have written nearly 100 poems. I write poetry from time-to-time and for challenges like NaPoWrimo, but I guess it adds up over the years. Even though I identify myself as a poet on my “About” page, I still have a hard time embracing it. Poetry seems to be cool and hip only within a relatively small community of like-minded word nerds, such as myself. I have had friends read my poems and snicker. Or sometimes they say things like, “It doesn’t rhyme.” They don’t stop to look at internal rhymes, alliterations, assonances, meter, metaphors, evocative themes and all the other characteristics of poetry.
Most people I know don’t read or even like poetry. It is not mainstream anymore, not since before the radio and television age when poem-casting, along with story-telling and singing, were how our ancestors amused themselves around a fire in the evening.
Maybe I am not a poet and don’t know it.
Maybe, though, I have a different definition of poetry. For me, poetry is not merely a form of entertainment or a literary art form to be mastered. For me, poetry is crafting an economy of words intended to convey subtle, evocative, expressive ideas in unique, brief, and innovative ways. I write poems to hone my word-smithing abilities. Poetry is a writing exercise for me. Poetry is not a noun; it is a verb. It is about the process, not the product.
I know I’ve harped on this idea in past posts, but I will say it again: I don’t mind if I am not a good poet. Like any true nerd, I don’t care what people think as long as I am doing what I enjoy.
If you are at all interested in reading some of my poems, here is a link to all 30 poems from last year’s NaPoWrimo challenge: https://misspelicansperch.wordpress.com/2019/04/