Poetry means so many things to so many different people, but one thing I am clear of is that today’s poetry sometimes appears more of a rampage, bitch-session, or a laundry list of complaints or things that make us unhappy in our lives.
In my mind, these rampages and laundry lists of complaints in no way paint a picture of poetry than if you took a paint brush and tried to paint the black-hole.
Emily Dickinson, the well-known American Poet, once said, “If I feel physically as if the top of my head were taken off, I know that is poetry.” Another well-known poet, A. E. Housman uttered his idea of poetry was when he was shaving in the morning, “. . . for if a line of poetry strayed into his memory, a shiver raced down his spine, and his skin would bristle so that his razor ceased to act.”
What definitions of poetry do I get when I read poetry, written in text messaging jibberish, or a poem that resembles my weekly grocery list? Nausea!
I read a poem the other day that had just won a contest that paid $25,000, receiving the first place award. I read that poem, read that poem again, then read it one more time, but never figured out what it was referencing. No meter, no rhyme, no reference, no object to cling to, but it did have many big words in it that you never hear anywhere. No emotion, no up feeling or down feeling, no beauty of mystery. Lacked sinister thoughts, death and dying the beauty of a rose, or a sunset in the Caribbean. It lacked POETRY!
There was no shiver down my spine, no explosion in my head, just the ramblings of a dull laundry list of things.
My idea of poetry is:
Poetry is an explosion of internal emotion,
Felt from the tiniest brain area,
To the tip of your toes.
Comprised of love, hate, and fear,
Happiness, and sadness,
Tranquility, turbulence, and bliss.
Spatial in size,
An odyssey of hope,
From a dismal past.
A new sequence of thought,
To expand and explore.
Or life’s combative Past nightmares.
Fall in love or lust,
Whatever the tale brings,
Encasing you in its web.
Poetry is a dream come true,
Written and recorded,
Documented view of thought.
©2015 by Lee Christine Brownlee