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Why is it that only poets can understand poetry?

I am sure I cannot be the only one who has gotten that queer look from someone who has just read your work (even though you pretend to protest but let them read anyway). There you wait, with baited breath for some pure acknowledgement, a flicker of light of understanding only to find that queer look and some totally off base comment that summarizes nothing you had hoped for.

How sad and disappointing that you pour yourself into words, hoping that those around you can see the beauty or the message, only to find they don't.


All that we see or seem, is but a dream within a dream....
Edgar Allen Poe

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The following comments are for "blind"
by poesandpoetry

Active participation
I have always believed that unless a reader immerses himself in the writer's world, he will not fully understand it and appreciate its weight.

I know the claim that poems should stand on their own and speak for themselves, and therefore "invite" the reader into its world...however, withou any active participation from the reader's end, any invitation, however fancy, or simple or trite or wonderful will not work.

so true enough that the writer has the responsibility to make it as it good as it can get; the reader has a heavier responsibility to understand it.

Unless this is so, every poem from any budding poet will just be warehouse art.
- my two cents worth.

( Posted by: webguy [Member] On: February 1, 2004 )

two cents
Thanks Pen & Webguy for your comments.
I never thought of it that way. Thank you:)

( Posted by: poesandpoetry [Member] On: February 1, 2004 )

I think that everyone will have different reactions to a pice of poetry - but I think you already know this. ;')

The people who resond negatively or fail to see a message in good poetry are the ones, I think, who fail to see what's below the surface in anything - including their own lives. To these people, a piece of poetry is a bunch of mumbo jumbo, written by black beret wearing beatnik folk. Some people just like art because it's famous, and the same is true for poetry. People are sometimes too used to being told what to think about something that they don't know how to react to something that REQUIRES a degree of interpretation (as poetry does), but doesn't come with an instructional manual.

In the end, to all the poets out there I'd stick my thumb up and say write on (how about that? I am capable of humorless puns!). There are those of us out there who aren't afraid to read poems and see the art both in them and in ourselves.


( Posted by: strangedaze [Member] On: February 1, 2004 )

Thank you- also, i like the pun of your name as well:) I think it is sad and peculiar that so many have shut their inner eye. Their daze (lol - pun of my own) must be filled with gray.

( Posted by: poesandpoetry [Member] On: February 1, 2004 )

Getting below the surface
I can agree with strangedaze about the people not "getting" the poetry that you put in front of them, and that they can't see below the surface of anything else. For most poets, everything they know is jumbled up in verse, and the poets that put it into pen are bearing their souls. It can be very disheartening to not recieve the reaction you hoped it would bring, but perhaps you can bring the work to the "dazed" and "less-than-aware". You can reach any reader you wish by way of empathy for the reader, and understanding of their previous reaction. Hopefully at the very least there is one reaction or critisizm from that "oblivious" reader that can clue you in on how to reach "their level" short, hit 'em where it hurts, that is sure to get their emotions going and help them get "below the surface of things"....because in sense, that is what we- as writers are esentially doing. AGREED? Love your work Ms.poesandpoetry, and I get you !

( Posted by: johnb79 [Member] On: February 1, 2004 )

thank you, jkb- oh and "hairspray, get back"

( Posted by: poesandpoetry [Member] On: February 1, 2004 )

have to agree
Hi p&p. You know apart from agreeing with all above, all I can say is I don't bother showing anyone anything anymore. More people on the other side of the world know I write than here.

Love your new avatar, peacock lady :)

( Posted by: smithy [Member] On: February 4, 2004 )

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