There's this weird idea that if you just churn out words onto a page as fast as you think them, you'll come up with something more authentic than a work that has been considered and revised over time. That idea has been responsible for a deluge of crap poems.
Raymond Queneau wrote:
A very wrong idea that is going the rounds at the moment is the equivalence that has been established between inspiration, exploration of the subconscious, and liberation, between chance, automatism, and freedom.
Now this sort of inspiration, which consists in blindly obeying every impulse, is in fact slavery.
The classical author who wrote his tragedy observing a certain number of rules is freer than the poet who writes down whatever comes into his head and is slave to other rules of which he knows nothing.
I'm with Queneau on this.
I am always amazed that people who champion automatic writing seem to feel they are doing something radical and declare that those who write with a nod to tradition are reactionaries.
In fact, the opposite is true. A splurge of emotions with random linebreaks is more common than any other kind of poetry and it's all crap. None of it will be remembered, which is the only good thing to come of it.
Somebody suggested in a poetry website thread the other day that there was "no such thing as bad poetry" and that if I called anything bad, that was only my subjective opinion. Of course, it is my opinion that bad poetry exists, and it exists in massive quantity. And we must believe in it, if only so that we can call some other stuff good.