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The Creative Issue – News for Creatives | October 20, 2019

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Poetry Myths You’ll Most Definitely Have Heard

Rebecca Ellis

For those of you have entered the world of poetics, I am almost 100 per cent sure you’ve encountered a conversation that has gone a little something like this, “you write poetry?! Uhm, why?!”

Wherever you find poetry, you’ll often find negativity, confusion and disbelief among most. I, for one, used to be one of these non-poetry believers and only recently have I embraced it, now openly confessing to being a poetry lover.

I have also come to the conclusion that the reason most have not followed me down the path of embracing poetry is because they are still confused by it and still find it negative and depressing.

And so I have a little advice for you – the only reason you brush poetry into the ‘IDC’ columns of your lives is simply because you do not actually understand it.

I have compiled a few, I guess you could say, ‘myths’ of poetry to help you on your way of understanding and embracing poetry. I look forward to reading some of your beginner’s poetry in the near future!

Poetry is difficult.

Okay, lets forget all the de-coding and verse-by-verse analysing we did in high school and just read. And of course, enjoy.

Sometimes it might come in handy to keep a what-you-see-is-what-you-get sort of mind frame happening when you come across what may seem like ‘difficult’ poetry.

Poetry is full of ‘deep and meaningful’ stuff.

Ironically, I have a poem here for you to bust this myth of poetry. You may have seen it before – perhaps it’s even on the back of the toilet door in your parent’s house.

Wipe-Seat-Funny-Bathroom-Sign-S-5609Each to their own, but I don’t personally view going to toilet as deep nor meaningful.

Poetry is for old people.

TS Eliot once said that you couldn’t be a serious writer until you are at least 25, and a lot of people believed him. Though there is some substance to this, I believe anyone who can pick up a pen and write can damn well be a writer of some description.

Younger generations have just as much, if not more to say and poetry gives a new and interesting twist to the generic forms of expressing feelings and thoughts.

 No one even reads poetry anymore.

Probably the most heard remark about poetry is, “poetry is dead.” But guess what, it just isn’t true.

People still buy it, people still listen to it and they even still go and see it being read live. So I have a new statement for you – poetry is not dead, it has merely been enclosed.

It is the same group of people, over and over again that emit themselves into the mystical and apprehensive world of poetry. But maybe now that you know that poetry is still out there, alive and well, they might consider joining the poet lovers.

There is no point to writing poetry because you cannot make a career out of it.

If you were walking your dog in the park and you saw a bunch of boys playing football, would you run over to them yelling, ‘stop! Stop! You’ll never make a career out of this so stop it now!’ No. Of course you wouldn’t do that. Though this is a little bit of a dramatic comparison, same underlying principles apply to poetry.

Poetry is boring.

For this one, I must bow my head and raise my hand, ‘yes! Yes, some poetry can be boring.’ However, there are so many that are far from it.

Poems are interesting because poets literally write poems on anything and everything. On worldly issues, with the use of rare or ancient language, to spaz you out on rhyming words, giving unique views on what may be considered mundane lifestyles or situations and my personal favourite interest factor – the bad factor. Some poems are interesting because they are just so bad, they are funny and quite honestly, embarrassing.