Friday, February 10, 2006

The Daily Poetry Show: Half Time Self-Analysis

I started writing The Daily Poetry Show for personal reasons two weeks ago and thought now might be a good time to keep myself honest on that point. I chose three daily poetry sites that would reveal a goodly spectrum of contemporary verse. I wanted to look at these poems closely for two reasons. First, I wanted to see some different successful ways that a poet makes a poem work. (Regardless of the genre, style, school, or planet the poet lives on.) And maybe steal a few. Second, I wanted to see the various ways a poet fails, and try to avoid those in the future.

But truth be told, I’ve been finding more of the latter than the former. It doesn’t shock me, but I am a little surprised. So much of the poetry I’ve read in the past couple of weeks is visibly imperfect. (Maybe a reflection of the state of poetry and its politics these days.) And it has to be glaring if an amateur such as myself can readily detect it. And not that my poetry is an exception to this discovery. Because the one real victim of this effort has been my writing itself. I can’t. Every time I try a line, this newfound critic inside of me cringes at the result.

Which brings me to my next unintended finding. Real critics can’t write good poetry. There’s no way the left and right brain can peacefully co-exist. There isn’t enough room in this town for the both of them. So all those academics working both sides of the streets? Choose a side and work it.

I’ll be working that critical side for another week or two or three. I still think the experiment is worthwhile. And there have been several poems that have been worth the descent into this underworld. But longer than that, I’m not sure if the poet or even poetaster inside of me would survive.


Steven D. Schroeder said...

I think this is an excellent project. If you do wind it down in a few weeks, I might try to pick it up.

Julie Carter said...

You should pass the baton to someone, and they pass it, and they pass it, because I think it's worthwhile. And neat, too.