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I'm going to expose myself here, but I've never been known to withhold the truth: most poetry I've read confounds me. I read and reread lines that are so obtuse that I wind up shaking my aching head in despair. Poetry doesn't have to be obscure or obtuse to be "great", does it? I mean, I do read and enjoy the work of Robert Frost and Emily Dickinson, but some other revered poets make my head spin. The first example that comes to mind is "anyone lived in a pretty how town" by E. E. Cummings, and then there's Susie Asado by Gertrude Stein, which I'll now quote:

Sweet sweet sweet sweet sweet tea.
Susie Asado.
Sweet sweet sweet sweet sweet tea.
Susie Asado.
Susie Asado which is a told tray sure.

Brilliant, no? Okay, spin that last "poem" however you like, but to me it will remain pure, unadulterated crap.

Rob48 7 Sep 8

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Got to agree there. It doesn’t challenge at all. Then the other end of obscure which is brilliant when you unpack it like T S Eliot, particularly The Waste Land. The things that it refers to are an education in itself without their context in the poem.

Certainly agree about Dickinson and Frost


Occasionally a poem will strike a sweet chord with me, but they are so few and far between that I do not seek them out. Many can be annoying to read.


I don't get poetry. As far as I can tell, it's an art form like painting or sculpture, but the raw material is: words.

I have several friends who are poets, some are published, one is a professor of-, and they have all encouraged me to write poetry. So I've attended lots of poetry readings. I just don't have any artistic talent.


P.S. here is a link to one of my not very good ones, for the curious. []


You might like to think about this. If someone has something important and worthwhile to say, which they truly wish people to hear, would they not try to make it as clear and plain as possible ?

Good poetry may be plain or it maybe difficult, if you are interested in poetry for its own sake, but poetry with something worthwhile to say will always be plain, or the poet is incompetent, and if you are not into poetry for its own sake why would you be interested in the other sort ? Except to earn your geek badge.


The only poetry I like is Rock and roll.

And this one:

twill Level 7 Sep 8, 2019

@Winkiedink54 Right!

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