For Good Relationships with Yourself

You can write bad poetry, can you not? Why do so? Here are three reasons:

1. If you think it doesn’t have to rhyme or be any good, you will write a poem each time you are struck by awe, struck in the gut, struck in the heart for good or bad.

2. If you write some, you will read one of mine. (below) Then you will start a heartfelt relationship with me.

3. You will soon afterward discover what is really important to you in all your relationships.

Many people assume that poetry is hard to understand or boring. Some academic poems are boring because they are simply showing off erudition. But poems about momentous or weird little experiences that strike the poet are wonderful to hear. Some are better than monologues from well known stand-up comics.

Poetry likes a strong feeling and the courage to express it with the power of that feeling. No holding back. Flat out condensation of the moment.

When you write bad poetry you feel gloriously alive. You improve all your relationships.

Eventually, you may re-write and turn your poems into some really good stuff.

Poetry won’t make you money, but it will make you rich. Here’s one of mine that set me free. See if you can tell how it set me free. If you have any questions, write to me. evycole@hughes.net

CRAVINGS by Evelyn Cole

I want to put out bowls of candy/to welcome every guest/ all kinds of sweets/ dripping with decadence

to offer red wine with legs/ stuffed grape leaves, Retsina, Italian prawns/carrot flan, Incan fire dip

and succulent salads /chilled ready to serve/ spinach, asparagus, pistachios /all fresh aphrodisiacs

marinated meats/ ready to grill to any taste/ from rare to rubber/ spiced tofu for some

a full shelf of pies Ive just baked /with perfect crusts /Tiramisu and mocha mousse too /and apricot clafoutis

I have a craving for candy I dont eat/a passion for cooking concoctions others wont touch/ a yearning for money to give it away/

Why?

A craving to please /to ease

Why? A craving to give /to live?

Ah, Do I need to put out /or die?

~~~

That last stanza took me by surprise.

Here is what the former U.S. poet laureate, Stanley Kunitz, says about poetry. It’s wild and wonderful.

Saturated with Impulse Stanley Kuntiz from “The Braid”

“So much of the creative life has its source in the erotic. The first impulse is strongly erotic, but then one becomes reflective–a philosophic human being, an explorer–and then as one grows older and older theres a need to renew that energy associated with erotic impulse.

“A poet without a strong libido almost inevitably belongs to the weaker category; such a poet can carry off a technical effect with a degree of flourish, but the poem does not embody the dominant emotive element in the life process. The poem has to be saturated with impulse and that means getting down to the very tissue of experience. How can this element be absent from poetry without thinning out the poem?