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what if anything do you dislike about poetry?

after much pondering, i've come to think of shape poetry as rather sad shit.
that and the blatant cry for help cutting poetry that's emotionless (sorry to the guys who write it) and ego....i could write a book about why i hate the ego of poets.
going to agree on the ego bit, though naturally does not apply to every writer out there. I dislike poetry that feels stilted and too cryptic. breaking grammar only to break grammar also can be frustrating for me.
I don't like stuff that's cryptic for the sake of being cryptic. It's hard to say what it is exactly that I hate in some cases because I come to each poem hoping this will be something great and then I get to some phrase, line, or gimmick and I just get pissed off that it's ruined. It's not really fair but it's sort of like the addict chasing the first high. Usually they're trying to be poetic, and it comes across forced. I hate it in my own writing, and I hate it in other people's writing.

The ego of poets...yeah, that can be annoying too.
you three all picking on me? lol

I hate similes I will continue to say write the image don’t expect the reader to read your mind. We don’t all have the same experience,

"it's like stabbing yourself in the leg" and not being able to walk unless it’s like you shit your pants..
OK how many experienced that? hands up! (looks around???) no well I did, and it bloody hurt more pulling the bloody knife out and feeling a right twat for stabbing myself .

"it's like stabbing yourself in the leg"
" it's like feeling a right twat"
"it's like the only twat left in the room is you" Ok done boring eh!! load of shite

In fact the knife went in smooth, painlessly. It was the punch
that made the air escape me, it was the bone that emitted
the scrapping noise taking the point into itself and gripping
while the muscles tightened about the length of the blade.
All of that was insignificant, it was the decision to remove it quickly
that caused the ache of indrawn breath.


I think any body of work with a unifying vision behind it is essentially going to expose the ego of the poet. If a poem is being cryptic for the sake of being cryptic, it has little vision behind it. And when I say body of work, I mean his personal, ego-filled oeuvre, that includes poems, essays, novels and so on. What I believe is that this is necessary, especially when we've even gone beyond the concerns of fragmented identities and ideological quagmires that the so-called Modernists addressed over a hundred years ago. I appreciate the building up of these visions, even when we hear it over and over about the failure of this approach in the likes of Hart Crane and Dylan Thomas whose poetic adventures I admire. And I like what Yeats said about poems' effects on each other. How they, poems and other forms of writing too I think, add to each other. Which brings us back to the ego of a poet that expects people to read and study his body of work as a cohesive unit. And from there, it's assumed that the work is important, and has abilities and tasks of its own, whether in a larger scope, or in the more immediate social environment of the poet. It amounts to how much time and how much heart the poet is willing to put into a lifetime of devotion to the world of poetry, which is a way of patterning culture and personal identity, and how honest and considerate he or she is. A lot of ego is usually a troubled ego, and poetry is a means of trying to preserve something, or better something. The ego is a very important aspect of honest, personal voice. When it comes to a poem, I believe it's more important to be true to the vision than to try to be thought of as a great poet. I'd rather read a book of bad poems that have something to say, than a book of poems by someone that simply wants to be a poet but cares little for substance.
I hate poets who are too vapid to take a stand and say something new, passionate and bold. Poetry that vacillates or qualifies itself is no better than the rhetoric spewed by politicians who have no brains or balls of their own.

Poetry-by-numbers, people who adhere to a formula that gets their work published in journals run by people-pleasing, imagination-free morons, poetry that shows nothing of the poet's personality -- the world would be a better place without all of these.

Shelley said that "poets are the unacknowledged legislators of the world" -- when did that become "nod and agree with the status quo, little sheep"?
i'm okay with ego as long as i don't have to hear how great one is, or how i did it for this and that reason when it's patently a load bollocks. i'm not keen on poetry that gets posted in a workshop only to read later on that the poet doesn't actually give a fuck what someone thinks because it's perfect and if you don't understand it fuck you Big Grin

what i noticed when i first started writing this shit; was that people often told me i was wrong. no i can look back and see that while it may have been, just telling me it's wrong isn't enough. tell me why and that's a problem with a lot of poetry. it comes from people who tell you your poetry is wrong and think by doing so it makes their poetry right.
for me that's bad poetry and often shitty poetry to boot.

i dislike that poetry misleads us into thinking we know how to write it. it deceives us because we think we're writing poetry and poetry smiles at us and tells us we're so fucking good, and then some bastard comes along who really knows how to write poetry and tells us poetry is a lying fucker that so far has be taking us for a ride. it bedazzles us and blinded by it we see all sorts of ineffable qualities.
In order for that bastard who really knows how to write poetry to bedazzle anyone, there has to be an audience of readers who are smart enough -- and humble enough -- to recognise the difference between genuine artistry and glossy turds.

Unfortunately, I think the turds are winning.
yes, though i think we have a couple of people here who would stand out on most poetry forums.
and while they do dazzle me, they also help me to understand my own poetry as well as theirs.
they don't openly ridicule me Big Grin it's a nurturing quality that really does help us evolve. but this isn't the what you like about poetry thread Big Grin

the ones that stay the course here are the good part of poetry (i think) in general. the egotist often leaves after a few critiques are given or when they're asked to leave feedback on poetry which is obviously beneath them Big Grin

now i shall away to my shopping cart Wink
"shopping cart" is just begging to go into some rhyming couplets... but I shall refrain Big Grin

The best artists are always those who are not jealous of their art and who consider it an obligation (and a pleasure) to share both the product and the process with others. Something is broken in a society in which the "experts" refuse to be mentors because they're afraid of being knocked off their number one pedestals. Art is bigger than the artist.


Even if you produce nothing but turds, if you're willing to go down the chute with them, rather than wipe yourself clean of what you believe, in order to satisfy, well anyone, then that says something. Unless you have a martyr complex. But then that says something else. Sometimes a poet is insane, whatever that means; and his poetry is saying a lot, and he does wish it would make sense to somebody, like it makes sense to him. Poetry has many roads it can travel. Even a road to Hell or humiliation. The road to compromise is the only dead end in my opinion, and if you deserve to drown you have to accept that.
(09-01-2012, 11:34 AM)rowens Wrote: [ -> ]Even if you produce nothing but turds, if you're willing to go down the chute with them, rather than wipe yourself clean of what you believe, in order to satisfy, well anyone, then that says something. Unless you have a martyr complex. But then that says something else. Sometimes a poet is insane, whatever that means; and his poetry is saying a lot, and he does wish it would make sense to somebody, like it makes sense to him. Poetry has many roads it can travel. Even a road to Hell or humiliation. The road to compromise is the only dead end in my opinion, and if you deserve to drown you have to accept that.
so you've read my turds poetry then Hysterical. i really want to improve and every now and again i do, only bit by little bit but i get some of the things people are saying to me and sometimes even remember to use the advice or suggestion to good effect. i hate that not everyone who writes poetry in a workshop environment doesn't actually want the same thing. that they think they've attained the nth level of poetry and as such just post merrily all day long without leaving feedback and ignoring some of the sensible feedback others leave them (i do realise that some of the feedback is utter shit but i'm working on it Big Grin )

for me it's that turdy poem that help us all. what can you say to a perfect poem? while i enjoy reading them (the perfect poems) it's often hard as to what feedback to leave as every other word is just praise.

much better the turdy poem where people can say...well how about that and does that work and is that right and thats another dozen clichés under your belt and all the other feedback stuff for turdy and semi turdy poems.

we need newbs and we need inexperience and we need that first set of pretty bad poems, we need them so we can tell where we've been and where we're aiming for, so we we can help them and ourselves become better turd writers. i've said it more than once and i'll say it again; i love a good poem from a good poet, but i crave a poem from a newborn, then i crave seeing them grow into that good poet who no longer teaches me anything.

i think someone talked about breaking the mould or thinking outside the box, about stretching oneself, and i whole heartedly agree but for fuck sake don't go too far away from the boz that you don't remember what the box is or looks like, don't stretch yourself so much that the line between comprehension and innovation snaps. be arty, be farty even but don't write gibberish and tell me it's fucking poetry. don't tell me it'
s poetry just because you stepped outside the fucking box. don't dare tell me it's fucking poetry when in fact all you're showing me is shit.
and that's what a lot of so called experienced poets do. the same as the shite experienced artist. "it's art man" well fuck off you horrible little bastard, it isn't fucking art, it's fallacy and fucking ego.

poetry, real poetry is that first attempt at writing a poem, that turdy thing that reads like shite. that's the first step into poetry that tentative step that some morons think makes them a poet. i hate them with a vengeance. and i hate their poetry because i know it will never improve or change. no, give me that first poem where the person wants to be a poet but doesn't know there a poet. where they want to learn, where they want to learn the mistakes and cliche's and all the other things that they have to learn in order to know their craft and i'll show you a poet in the making. fuck the so called poet whose "been on a writing course" or take a bachelors in "english lit" and fuck me, i do go on a bit don't i Hysterical a good poet doesn't need to shout out "i'm a good poet" they just have to write poetry. if i don't get something it's usually because i don't get it. speak in big words till you've laid a line of them a mile long. but if i don't get it, i don't get it. on the odd occasion i do miss something but if i do, i have to been known to call myself silly and to the poet in question but generally if i don't get it i don't need to be told why Smile


I was referring to the "glossy turds" mentioned earlier in this thread. I don't like patently perfect poems, I like poems filled with anger and love and confusion and foolish human emotion. Not being formally educated myself, I resent many things. And I ask myself, is my resentment fair. And I think, maybe not. But the feeling sticks with me.
So... "patently perfect"... what does that mean exactly? Does it mean, for example, that you'd prefer poems with obvious flaws so you don't feel so bad about your own writing? That might sound unfair, but it's not an uncommon position. As billy well knows (the smart arse), university study doesn't actually disqualify you from being able to write poetry -- knowing what you're doing isn't a bad thing. A degree also does not qualify you to think you know everything, and unfortunately the by-product of many degrees is cookie-cutter poetry or poetry-by-committee as submitted to an MFA panel. The most useful thing I took from university was the theory and a few different ways to look at the world -- of practice, I consider nothing I learned in ten years of study actually helps me to put a poem together. Every bit of practical knowledge I have, I've earned over the many years since, just by listening to others and observing what they were doing, then asking questions, giving it a shot myself, making an arse of myself, being told I was an arse, figuring out what to do next time so I wouldn't look like an arse, then doing it until I felt I was qualified enough to tell those others that they were making an arse of themselves Big Grin

I do not accept poetry that is all shine and no substance. It's easy to knock off a pretty-sounding piece of verse, any 8-year-old can manage it. It's easy to use a few recent words-of-the-day to fool people into thinking you know what you're on about. It's not easy to think about your failings as a human being, and communicate them to the reader. It's not easy to be vulnerable without sounding whiny and pathetic. And it's not easy to make people laugh at the ridiculous way we carry on in this life, in order to make them rethink their own behaviour.

So it's fair to say that I don't like "patently perfect" poems either -- but the flaw must be in the writer, not the writing.
the patently perfect poem or turds. i don't think anyone but the writer loves them. i love an original poem but the problem is, many poets equate original with great or good, often they just write original shite. formal education or an education from a wolf pack. education is education, if you read and write half decent poetry, you're pretty much an educated person and afar as language goes. a formal education gives a person some of the rudiments that a non formal education gives. i don't see it as being about background or what education one had or didn't have. personally i had virtually no school taught education. (yes, you may guffaw you bastards) nut i don't resent it. in fact i sometimes envy (though that's a strong word) their knowledge, their readings of great poetry and poets, their understanding of what a semi fucking colon is? they have the perfect set of tools. all they need do is learn how to use them. i learn from them, i see how they write a sonnet or villynilly and try to emulate the form; often a form i don't care for, but it pushes me. i see people say think out of the box and i often don't get it. can't we think out of a box when writing form poetry?
why does it have to be out their breaking boundaries to be great poetry. often the trouble with poetry that's written outside the box is the fact that no other fucker sees it Big Grin why not write on the side of the box where we can peaek over and spy it mmmm

the patently perfect poem; it's often the type of poem the newb tries to write. i have no problem with that; in fact i like to see it because i know there's hope that craft will lead them out of temptation. after all, isn't that why this hovel called the pig pen is here. to workshop the shit out of the patently perfect poem. i know for a fact my poetry has improved because of it.


Poetry is art, or it's the voice of a beast raging in the willderness. I'm a beast raging in the wilderness: does that diminish my voice? 'Poet' means 'maker'; if I can't experience a shared reality, I have to create my own reality every moment in progressive momentum. There might be stuff that could be in a box, but I don't think there is a box.
As for education, just another Hell. For me, anyway. I had such severe learning disabilities by the time I was thirteen that I flunked out of school, I couldn't learn how to swim, or ride a bike; and for some reason, I was associated with some kind of devil. So I spent years alone reading the same book over and over until I could understand it. From there I went on to another then another. And the system I used was magic. I embraced that "demonic" stigma people loved to stick on me. Now it haunts me everywhere I go, everything I do. Nothing but nightmares and psychoses and loss. But over the years I was able to contain it and hide it.
So what do I not like about poetry? The same things I don't like about life in general. But me, I'm not making art to be arty. My poetry is literally real to me, not metaphor. I'm creating reality, not like a politician or a clergyman, but like a poet. "Good" or "great" or "bad", those things are incidental. Sometimes I can try to explain what was going through my mind when I was expressing something, so someone can take that into consideration in connection with a poem. But to me, everything is a poem, even the dirt between my toes has some human element that is spiritual. I want people to understand what I'm saying, but if I could express all of what I put into a poem in prose then it wouldn't be the same poem.
when people leave feedback does it change the beasts voice? (i know i'm off topic and i'm sorry but i think the discussion is just evolving. i suppose if anything a beast raging in the wilderness makes it less diminishable at least top them. it certainly doesn't diminish their voice to me, but i have to ask is having that voice enough, when you share the poetry of the beast? i've never really been that lucky that i had that kind of feeling with my poetry. i write it because it gives me something as well as enjoying the doing of course. i embraced my demons and every other demon outside me long before poetry, so while i can use them, they're not really my poetry, they don't define me per say. and the stigma i got never really bothered me too much. ( and i have suffered at the hands of stigma Big Grin ) i was just able to cope with it i suppose. i'm one of those lucky bastards whose always a happy person, no more so than when i'm in the thick of all that shit. i get weary when it's all smooth sailing. while i can't but agree that poetry is art and probably everyones poetry is their own art to themselves; is it really art to others or is some it ( a lot of it ) just crap pretending to be art?
and that's one the things i hate about a lot of poets in general. they espouse their art to be good or great art when it really isn't, it's just bad or mediocre art. i have now problem with that kind of art, as i've stated i enjoy that kind of art because i see it in certain circumstance, grow. so while i love good art, and while i love bad art, i hate bad art that pretends to be good, i hate or should i say dislike art as if or when it implies it's worthy of being good art.

i'm wary of being told everything is art. more often than not to me, the dirt between mine and other peoples toes is just that, toe dirt. writing a poem about it and saying "it's my art" doesn't convince me. it has to connect to what I perceive to be art.

one definition of a poet is;

one who writes poetry : a maker of verses. 2. : one (as a creative artist) of great imaginative and expressive capabilities and special sensitivity to the medium if it's to be belived then a lot of poets aren't actually poets at all and sometimes the voice of the beast raging in the wilderness is just that. one doesn't necessarily make the other exist.


What I get from feedback is a view into other people's understanding of reality in relation to mine. Because what I meant to say more strongly was poetry is art OR the voice of a beast raging, or other things. I wouldn't tell you the dirt between my toes is art, I only meant it can be felt with a spiritual meaning as much as anything can. I don't always say art, because of the connotations of that word. I think of poetry and spirit as those things that give meaning to what's otherwise a bunch of objects swirling through what we call space. Sometimes poetry is when I'm practicing a specialized art, and sometimes it's me being a raging beast digging my way out of a pit, and somtimes it's a combination of those things. With feedback, I can get someone else's take on what they feel works or doesn't. And that helps me consider what works or doesn't work when I'm considering their voice in their poetry.
this is only discussion and when i ask or say stuff it's rhetorical and not about you or anyone in particular, i'm just following along really.

i think i get the same thing as you do from other people feedback; a view into other people's understanding of reality in relation to mine. lots of what you say are indeed good qualities for poets to have, that rage etc. it's just that all too often would be poets use them to elevate themselves as poets. now i'm going to leave others to discuss these aspects cos i'm hungry but i really did enjoy the discourse Smile thank you.


I can make myself someone else, in a conversation about a subject. So I can relate to the subject as much as possible. What's being praised as much as what's being ridiculed. Sponge things up, and let the conversation, my parts and others' parts, squeeze fresh feelings out of it. And old feelings too.

In response to what Leanne said, I dont resent educated poets. I resent when people tell me that based on my poetry and other writings I am clearly deranged. So I write raging poems full of jive talk and personal quirks out of the sweet muse of spite. But they are mostly love poems. Me speaking as someone in love.
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