Monday, August 25, 2008

Why Bother?

I wrote this last night. I haven’t a clue what I’m going to do with it. I hardly ever post my poems to this blog these days, but I thought (rightly or wrongly) that it might amuse (maybe "amuse" isn't quite the right word) some people. I'll no doubt remove the poem after a short time.

The fact that I bothered going to the trouble of revising it this morning might go some way to answering Nic’s question, which in turn was a response to Quincy’s comments on how getting a poetry collection published doesn’t result in fame, riches, greater sexual attraction, or even selling more than a few hundred copies (if you’re lucky) - his comments are fairly accurate, by the way.

Why bother then? Because poetry is an obsession. Even if book sales are disappointing. Even if the poem doesn’t matter to anyone else. If it's still necessary to write it, then it's worth getting "out there" at least to give people a choice on whether to ignore it or not.

- poem deleted -


BarbaraS said...

NOT THAT SONG! But you're right, we keep at it because we must.

I like the poem BTW, it has a real world-weariness. Bet it goes down well at readings...

Collin said...

Rob, this is uncanny. I nearly choked on my lunch when I saw this poem. I also have a poem called "I Should Be So Lucky," which is based on a dream I had about meeting Kylie at the drive-up window of a Wimpy's somewhere in middle England. She was working the window and wearing a jaunty paper hat. I have no idea what'll do with mine either, but I really enjoyed yours.

Tommaso Gervasutti said...

I think this is the golden mine evryone should nurture to extract great poems, I feel enthusiasm here, an avalanche of feeling-words ( and luck!) that is going to summon up a bounty!
Best wishes, Davide

Jim Murdoch said...

I know what you mean but could I offer an alternative perspective? To my mind the word 'obsession' has a lot of negative connotations. I think of poetry as something natural.

My dad once tried to explain to me the difference between a perfect and an imperfect man. He said, "A perfect man's natural inclination is to do the right thing but that doesn't mean he is incapable of sinning whereas an imperfect man's natural inclination is to be selfish and do what benefits him but that doesn't mean he is incapable of doing the right thing." That always stayed with me.

To my mind a poet is a man, most likely an imperfect one, whose natural response to life is to write about it; things make more sense to him when they're converted into words. The rest of the people don't give a toss about words and are only interested in experiencing life in the now. I'm a poet. I'm not obsessed with words. Poetry is just another one of my senses – I perceive things metaphorically. It's a good thing. Why bother? Because I can no more stop being a poet than I can stop seeing albeit through trifocal lenses these days.

Colin Will said...

Quincy's comments are wincingly accurate, but as Barbara says, we keep at it.

Mark Yoxon said...

i can really hear O'Hara in this. i think it's really something.

keep going with it.

Dick said...

Kylie would be proud! And think how many Kylie fans will now find themselves adjacent to a piece of verse.

I presume you've seen this -

Rob said...

Thanks for all the comments.

Barbara - "goes down well at readings" is usually the kiss of death for my poems! But perhaps not for this one.

Collin - the paper hat sounds great. Please email me the poem, if possible.

Davide - I'm sure Kylie would be delighted to hear those comments.

Jim - good to hear about your own approach. Of cousre, I didn't mean "obsession" in a clinical sense.

Colin - yes, maybe "we keep at it" without any attempt at reason is the best that can be said.

Mark - Heh. I reckon "i can really hear O'Hara in this" is another kiss-of-death phrase! Although I do really like the NY school (especially Schuyler).

Dick - I had never seen that or even heard of it. But what a classic! Thanks so much!

I also hope Kylie would be pleased, although the chances of her ever reading Surroundings is extremely remote. I've never been a fan of her music (not even her 'hip' phase, not even that 'la la la,la la la la la' thing), but she comes over as a fantastic personality.