I hate poetry. Finally, after all these years, I’ve said it. Or typed it really; it’s the same difference.
To be entirely truthful, I hate most poetry. I find some of Shel Silverstein’s silly poetry somewhat entertaining. And I’ve always appreciated a clever, dirty Limerick.
I’m not a monster.
But the rest of poetry is, without exception, terrible. It doesn’t matter what “type” it is or what “form” it takes; sonnets or couplets, haiku or (Lord, help me) free-verse. The results are always the same: irredeemable awfulness.
I’ve given some thought on why the vast, vast majority of poems and poetry suck. Being on house arrest has given me ample time to think about a lot of shit. Mostly, it’s stupid shit and this is no exception.
As I was saying, I’ve been looking for a common denominator to explain poetry’s general suckiness and I think I’ve found it. It’s the person who writes the poem; the “poet”.
Now, I’ve had the misfortune to know a few poets, so I know what I’m talking about. I can truthfully say these people were without a doubt the most miserable, mopey and therefore most annoying individuals I’ve ever had the displeasure of knowing.
Oh, and they’re always, always broke. Turns out writing depressing drivel in verse doesn’t pay too well. Imagine that!
Think about it, have you ever met a happy poet? Of course you haven’t because they don’t exist.
History backs me up on this. All of our “famous” poets were massively unhappy people.
Poe, Dickinson, Keats, Byron, Woolf. What do they all have in common, besides being well-known poets? They’re all people with whom you’d never want to spend a Saturday night at the club with.
Now a few of you may take offense to this, and I’m sure all of you are wondering why I’m breaking bad on poetry. I’ll tell you, but let me ask you a question first:
Have you ever been to a public poetry reading?
If you have, you’ll understand where I’m coming from.
If you’ve never been to one and you have a masochistic streak, go to one some evening. They usually happen at non-chain coffee houses, bookstores, and at the campus of your local community college.
These readings usually last an hour or two, which doesn’t sound too bad, really. Especially when good coffee and crullers are part of the equation.
However, once you’re sitting in a iron folding chair less than three feet away from the angry lesbian on a soapbox who’s carrying on about how her ex-girlfriend left her and took their cat- in a series of haiku no less, you’ll realize that time can and indeed does move backwards.
Just throw some bad folk music and “interpretive dance” in the mix, and guess what? You’ve created Dante’s third circle of hell. Or the Lilith Fair, which is a good substitute for hell in most people’s opinions.