Tuesday, March 28, 2006

A poem should not mean, but be." (Archibald MacLeish)

Poetry isn’t
You don’t need
an advanced
In basketball,
they can’t teach
Everyone can’t learn
to write.
Master classes
and week-end
won’t produce
a Shelley or Keats.
Do it
the old – fashioned way.
Ignore what the
critics have to say.
Remember that Rome
wasn’t built in a day,
and neither was
Edna St. Vincent Millay.
If you write bad verse,
well --- that’s ok.
You might write worse
with an M.F.A..
If you lack
the right credentials
better stick
to the essentials.
Keep it short, but
not too sweet.
Don’t use rhymes and
don’t count feet!
Skew the syntax.
Switch the tense.
Try to keep
the language dense.
(It helps if the title
makes no sense.)
Never write
a line that could
easily be understood.
Critics all
will wax ecstatic
if your poems are
strive to be abstruse;
lest you’ll sound like
Mother Goose –
or even worse,
like Dr. Seuss.
Don’t be “humdrum”.
Don’t be “trite”.
Think conundrum
when you write.
Pull enough wool
over their eyes,
you just might win
a Pull it, sir Prize.
(From Deeplip's The Little Book of Poems About Poetry and Poets)