12/01/2005

about (bad) poetry

(shackled in ironies, I am)

*ahem*

about (bad) poetry

This is a poem about
poetry.
It has a rather
arbitrary layout scheme.

The title is transparent,
annoyingly self-aware
(you might, parenthetically, suspect me
of being up to something. Don’t waste
your paranoia)

A modern poem rarely does rhyme,
--the penman’s prerogative, I’m told.
Alliteration and assonance are all I owe, you know,
at most, to all of you, you see,
so there

This one wants a pulsating rhythm
but it stacks up well
in, ah, what’s the word—
‘diction’ or something?
Wait, check that;
‘cheek’ is more like it.

It’s a dry, dusty well,
unduly discovered;
a scribbled mirage,
this poem disappoints
the readers
who die thirsty in the desert
for lack of ‘well’-written verse.

And like a one-legged poet who runs out
of ideas, my metaphors are lame,
and my similes are
the Satanic Spawn of The Guy With No Imagination Incarnate.
Oops, gosh consarnit—
no more of gross personification,
flowery comparison or cryptic gravity.
Bury it all in the cemetary, I say,
with the graves and the crypts.
Do it by night or by day,
It rots!

A poem should have a voice
but this one, boy, is it ever cloying,
monotone at best.
You ask me to ‘shut up, moron’
and I’d forgive you
for telling me to smarten up or tone it down
I give you bad mood, after all
no feeling at all;
I feel you up and down, I do.

And ultimately a convoluted poem
is really rather bad;
duly considered punctuation cannot save it;
cannot fix it, period.
It’s a ‘cata-pos-trophe’.
Superficial and so insolent, it’s
exactly unlike
all those really good and meaningful
anthology poems.

What of the theme, you say:
avoidance of serious engagement,
the making of a mockery instead,
out of fear that earnest effort
would come short;
and so resorting
to self-conscious self-ridicule—

why,
it’s so cliché;

almost as cliché as saying
something withered and bankrupt
as
that sword imagery, professor—I find it sooo Freudian.

So, yah, poetry is great,
just great.
I mean, what’s not to like?

1 comment:

joe bloggs said...

What's not to like? The teacher who taught it. Or rather, the teachers who presided over English classes. And some of the poems were crap as well. Yours is good. At least it has ideas in it. Rather than just sombre wallpaper language poseurdom or jiggity-jig sleep-inducing historic epic or wrist-slashing twentieth century trash written by psychotics. Like a teenager needs to read that. They're moody enough already.

And I hate how they analysed them. English Literatuure classes were just psycho-analysis under another name. God, I hated English classes.