Home > poetry > I hate poetry.

I hate poetry.

I hate poetry. I do. OK, I might like specific poets and poems, but overall poetry repels me.  The four people that read my blog may be thinking, “What are you talking about, Lori? You write poems all of the time?” Let me clarify.

I hate bad poetry.

And there is so much bad poetry out there. A bad poem is one of the easiest things to write, with special thanks to free verse.  Anyone can take a stab at a free verse poem. Look, I’ll write one right now:

The bitterness of coffee

reflects the bitterness of life.

And in both cases,

only artificial sweetener can mask the bitter reality

that we all die alone.


Viola! Poem accomplished! It only took me one minute and thirty seconds.

I am hyper critical when it comes to writing. This is because I love it so much. I love how the nuance of a word can change the meaning of a thought. I love the subtly of motifs and the richness of metaphor. I love that words can create imagery and even sensory reactions. So when accosted by bad poetry, I feel deeply insulted at the disregard for the intricacy of language. I’ve also had at least three traumatic experiences where young men have attacked me with unsolicited poetry readings. I’m getting upset just thinking about it.

However, despite all of my ranting, I have been writing free verse poems weekly, sometimes more frequently, since sometime near the end of 2011. Why? Hmm. I have a couple of reasons. I started with haikus over the summer, inspired by my friend, Brandi. I thought the structure of the 5/7/5 could keep me from writing something too horrible since it’s so restrained. Then, I found that 5/7/5 wasn’t quite enough space. I debated if I should attempt a free verse poem since I’ve talked so much trash about those who write them. I also had concerns that if I started writing poetry, that would tip the scales for me in terms of girly sensitivity and there might be no turning back. I was also seriously afraid of writing pretentious garbage. Like always, I try to overcome my fears so I wrote a free verse poem for this blog. It was pretty difficult. I felt strange about posting it, but I did it anyway. It turned out OK. No one posted angry comments. So I’ve continued.

I’ve grown to like the challenge of writing of a free verse poem. The process still feels awkward since I’m not great at brevity. I have found, though, that the best thing about writing my terrible little poems is that they serve a different writing purpose for me. There are times when a situation or feeling is a little to big to write about directly as I’m still sorting it out. Writing a little poem can sum up that situation or feeling for me.

Now I hate poetry even more because it’s turned me into a giant hypocrite.

Categories: poetry Tags: ,
  1. J.
    February 13, 2012 at 10:12

    In the end,
    I smiled.

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