September 26, 2007
There was much talk in class on monday about how the writer of a poem must write, and of the writer's responsibility. For me, this must be looked at from several perspectives. Everyone writes poetry for different reasons. The most simple reason to write poetry is for one's self, and in that case the only responsibility the writer has is to them self. As such, this may be the most liberating type of poetry to write, because the writer is able to freely express whatever it is they are feeling at the time, with no obligation to help others understand. But since this poetry is just for the individual, it is the kind that we see the least of. Most poetry is made by an individual for someone else. With this being the case, it is usually in the best interest of the writer to make the poetry appealing to the outside audience. That being said, I feel that the writer in no way has an obligation to appease the audience.
Poetry can be successful in more than one way. The poetry that we all look to as the standard and model for all the rest is of course the norm for 'good' poetry. But there are also poets who can attract attention to their poetry by getting it criticized. From my perspective, successful poetry is anything that engages the reader, whether it be because the read is love with the writing or absolutely abhors it. Either way, it illicits a response that encourages the poem to be talked about. That is successful poetry. The difference between the good and bad poetry is that the good poetry is remembered, while the bad poetry will be quickly forgotten?
The example of Danielle Steel's poetry was brought up. To say that her works, while unique in their own right, are any less intriguing than any other poetry is to have blinders on when reading. While other poets' works may show us the right thing to do when writing, hers showing the wrong way helps us learn. Even unsuccessful poetry can be looked at in a positive light, as long as knowing what the ultimate purpose behind writing is, and in my opinion, that is to engage the reader.
Posted by ndjames at September 26, 2007 09:10 PM