The majority of poets today are little interested in connecting with the common or educated reader, and for the most part are devoid of the skill to say anything memorable or quotable. The only option, then, is to fall back on theory, whether manifesto-driven or a sort of hobby-horsemanship. By theory I mean a critical blueprint governing subject and method as well as a prior ideological agenda to be expressed in verse. In either case, the former takes precedence over the latter. The language of the poem tends to be either didactic or decentered, hortatory or disruptive.
Poetry is the message, not the way it gets conveyed (SNIFF)
Do NOT make it your own (SNORT)
It’s not about saying it in a new way (HICCUP)
It’s all about a message delivered lyrically (BURP/BELCH)
Poetry is NOT about emotions recollected in tranquility (FART)
Poetry is not about pushing the boundaries of language (YAWN)
Nor is it spasmodic unburdening (AHH—CHOO!)
Poetry has no militant agenda (GRUNT)
and Poetry is not about your prosaic observations (SIGH)
LET’S GET THAT STRAIGHT
Oh yeah – almost forgot:
PROMPT #10: a hay(na)ku consists of a three-line stanza,
where the first line has one word, the second line has two words,
and the third line has three words.
godless postmodern sensibilities
As a poetry site I really like Hello Poetry. It is user-friendly and uncluttered. It is easy to comment and message other poets. It’s a sort of lyrical Facebook without the bells and whistles. A nice feature they provide is a count of how many views a poem gets over time. In this day and age, one never knows if these stats are truthful, algorithmic hype or fake, but accepting the bean counters at face value, here are my ten most-read poems since I began posting at the site in 2015. They range, top to bottom (if one believes the stats), from 29K+ views down to 13K+ views. Strangely enough, John Greenleaf Whittier’s Snow-bound which I posted there in its entirety, came in at number nine with 14K+ views. I wonder: are people actually reading these ?
The Internet is a strange and fickle thing.
I pride myself on not being swayed by social media. I do not Twitter, Facebook, nor do I Instagram or use any other similar media. It’s pretty much WordPress, Hello Poetry, and one more poetry site that eat up my time online, along with YouTube of course.
Last Saturday and also on Monday, my blog had more views than usual.
During April, it is usually like that due to National Poetry Month.
I was happy, in a silly stats-driven cybernetic way.
(They say dopamine levels go up with Social Media stats and I believe it).
But I have also noticed that lots of views on one day can give the illusion that people are actually reading poetry blogs. Then yesterday I posted what I believe to be one of my better poems, which I worked on and edited extensively. I posted it earlier in the day than normal, thinking there would be more time for it to get read, and I checked the stats like a maniac . . . to be rewarded with SEVEN views all day, ha ha ha .
Have you ever wondered about blogs showcasing what seems to YOU to be vapid, superficial and carelessly-written poetry receiving hundreds of “likes” while others that display masterful use of wordcraft barely get read?
What does this poetic philosopher have to say to us on the topic?