Twenty-One Things I've Learned as a Poet

Twenty-One Things I Have Learned This Past Year

1.   Nobody know what "making it" as a poet means, at least while they are alive.
2.   Even if you "make it," there really is no there there.
3.   Nobody, and I mean nobody, makes money at poetry, except for Billy Collins.
4.   Everybody and their dog has a blog and writes poetry.
5.   I don't agree with the elitists that it is all about form.
6.   I don't agree with the masses that it is all about emotion.
7.   I don't agree with the abstractionists, that is all about deeper meaning.
8.   I don't agree that accessible has to mean boring, but much of it is.
9.  That there are fads in poetry, the current one is free verse, sparse, form obsessed and obtuse.
10. Poetry accolades are quickly washed away in the flood of rejections.
11. “Success" is almost always accompanied by news of rejection, as if they do it on purpose.
12. "Nobody reads poetry," except when it is free on my blog!
13. No matter what you write someone will disagree with how you wrote it, or what you wrote.
14. Workshops and classes really do help.
15. You look amateurish when you try to sound like any of the old greats.
16. You look elitist when you try to sound hip, with-it, modern or cool.
17. You shouldn't write to a fad.  Write what you love!
18. Poets are like farmers, planting seeds, watering the land, waiting patiently for spring to come.
19. It doesn't matter what anyone thinks, poets gotta write.
20. The term "making it" is irrelevant in poetry, like the terms "making a living," "getting rich,"
and "I spent the day shopping at Neimans."
21. Poets are all descended from Don Quixote, reaching for an impossible dream.

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Mary Mansfield said...

I love this! #17, 19, and 21 should be committed to memory. As for #4, my dog does not have a poetry blog...yet anyway.

Poet on Poetry said...

Thanks, Mary! I look forward to seeing your dog's blog. :)

Shawnte said...

Too true. Poets are all descended from Don Quixote...or Sisyphus.

Poet on Poetry said...

Aren't we, Shawnte? The world needs more Quixotes!