The Poetry I Love

The poetry I love has to be potent. Words in poems need to resonate in my head and in my soul. Those very words need not to be adorned, but they have to be made of flesh and bone, of blood and marrow. Those words (and poems) only will be able to convey emotions in a way that make me feel them. The poetry I heartily dislike is the poetry that is fakely true: words woven with artifice, beautiful words put together with some sort of taste, but plainly soulless. Some days ago I was listening to a poet--who also happens to be the editor of a poetry magazine--reading some poems. And, I could not help thinking that she sounded so amazingly artificial. That is why I pretty much wrote a status line on FB that said: "Nobody read their poetry as if they were Anne Sexton, please and thank you!" One of my friends  remarked: "And please, nobody write their poetry as if they were Sylvia Plath." I cannot but agree: either you have a voice or you have not. I may not be the best poet and I still have a long way to go, but there is something I am sure of. Poetry sounds true only when it is felt, all the rest is just an exercise. To those splendid weavers of artifice, I may suggest to read a lovely book by Raymond Queneau named "Exercises of Style." I trust it will do them good.


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