Friday, June 03, 2005

How To Be A Poet

Saw some poetry readings on Channel 31 last night. Is that all it takes to be a poet? Get up there, spout some touchy-feely guff about life and love in the city, shout a bit, say one or two swear words, and step down?
I was profoundly underwhelmed by the whole thing. Here, at random, are some thoughts I had after the event:

1) Don't use metaphors like 'An all-too black night'. What else is the night going to be? White? Green? Purple? Of course the night is black, that's the colour things get when you take the sun away.
And isn't it racist to use metaphors like this, anyway?

2) The word 'Frangipani' should be banned from all poems. It's not romantic, it's just annoying.

3) No poet should ever write about themselves.

4) No poet should ever write about self-obsession, artists with creative difficulties, or artists in general. This is just another way for them to write about themselves. There is nothing more pathetic than a self-obsessed poet writing about self-obsession as a subtle way of referring to themselves.
It's not subtle, it's not interesting, and it tells us more about the 'writer' than they have ever wanted or tried to tell us.

5) Say your poems, don't read them out. Remember:
- Meaningful pauses are never meaningful
- End your sentences, don't leave them hanging in the air
- You're not dictating to children
- You're not a child yourself, so don't act like you're standing up in class stumbling over 'Dick likes Jane - see Jane run!' for the first time.

6) I'm not very impressed by your rhymes. Here's an exercise. Write down as many rhymes as you can think of for the following words...


Then come back and write some more poems.

7) Quit talking about how depressed you are, how you have a poor view of life, etc, etc. Cheer up! Life's not that bad.

8) Even better yet, give up poetry, and take up something interesting. Like bricklaying.


Vikki said...

Everybody knows that nights are purple! Idiots.

TimT said...

Everybody knows that nights are purple!

Yes! And I've got the photos to prove it!

The Flea said...

Oh, the sweet narcissim of the poet, writer, artist, et al.

This reminds me of my own self-obsessive writing, and that's a worry. Maybe brick-laying would be a good career cahnge after all.

Email: timhtrain - at -

eXTReMe Tracker

Blog Archive