It may not be National Poetry Day in your part of the world, and you may be way more interested in the start of the London Olympics…but here in Australia I actually have something personally poetical to celebrate! Today, two of my free verse poems are appearing in the new edition of the free (ironical isn’t it?!) online poetry journal, Blackmail Press.
I’m ridiculously happy to get some of my work ‘out there’ and particularly in a medium that is so accessible in the digital era. This is a journal that predominantly features New Zealand poets and poetry so I’m very appreciative that they’ve let an ex pat pommie-aussie cheekily saunter in and lower the tone! Queensland is about to hold it’s annual poetry festival again in Brisbane and therefore it does seem pertinent to consider just what the future holds for poets and poetry? Is it really a mute point, does anyone really care?
Musicians, sportsmen/women, painters etc could no sooner give up a limb than give up their particular talent or passion, yet poets often drift in and out of writing because of the indifference, or unfortunately contempt, they encounter. This is a poem that actually didn’t make the cut into issue 33, and in hindsight it was a good call as it’s a bit of a frustrated rant that expresses how I sometimes feel about why I bother to write poetry:
Poetry In Motion
He never wants to read any of it -
not the impulsive verses
that lie around the house on the backs of much used envelopes,
or the carefully edited pristine sheets,
or the sepia cutting that curls quietly in a drawer.
She says my poetry isn’t contemporary enough -
Well – WTF?
They smile politely and look the other away,
yet in their muted silence,
reach out for words on the greeting card stand -
putting poetry in its place.
I read, I write, I listen, I watch -
as my drafts take flight from the garden table;
cleared away by diligent breezes,
landing somewhere amongst the natives -
to litter the landscape -
D J Silversides
7 June 2012
Sounds like I’ve been sucking a few lemons in this particular ‘tormented’ moment doesn’t it! I’m not usually a bitter old sour puss, honestly, and it is meant to be a bit tongue in cheek at the irony of how people say they don’t read or understand poetry themselves yet invariably pick out a card that contains verse (usually pretty badly written admittedly) to convey what they can’t put into concise, thought provoking words themselves.
I’m an advocate of poetry (can you tell?!!) and I think it should be celebrated more often. I also firmly believe that if you don’t like poetry you just haven’t found the right poet for you yet. Search the web, go to the poetry archives and listen to poets reading their work; I defy you not to be utterly compelled listening to Sylvia Plath or a scratchy and bewilderingly rendition of Charge of the Light Brigade by Tennyson (who sounds like he has a peg on his nose and is squashed into a broom cupboard whilst making his recording) or the poet that I’m currently reading, Jacob Polley…..if that’s all too heavy for you, re-visit Dr Seuss: just read or listen to something.
If all else fails, try writing your own poetry, maybe then you’ll discover and appreciate how complex, emotionally draining, yet ultimately rewarding poetry can be. The poems of mine that are floating off into the universe today have taken approximately 10 months to write, edit, re-draft, re write, start again, improve, polish and finalise. That’s a lot of effort for a little more than a few pages of A4, none of which will bag me a clutch of medals; but my reward is knowing that another poet has deemed them worthy to publish. In my poetry world, validation rather than remuneration, feels like the pinnacle of success
And as a footnote to that, thank you so much to http://crazytraintotinkytown.com/ for my Inspirational Blogger award!! I’ll be posting soon with my 7 nominations …….