Why on earth would you buy my book…???
I could tell you all about my new book Alone Among Many… I could cleverly link enticing snippets and pieces of the work to this guest post so that it urges you to read it, makes you want to buy it… I could explain to you why the first poem in the book intentionally uses words that are repeated too often… I could provide reasons as to why most of the poems use words very sparsely… I could perhaps give a background to each and every poem and why I wrote it… I could… I really could… Perhaps you think I really should… But I won’t…
You see the problem I have with poetry, and poetry has with me, is that once the work has been read it no longer belongs to poet. It is now in the possession of the reader, to own and think what they like about it. They can hate, loathe, love or appreciate each poem ever written in equal measure. If you find no connection with the words used then you will hate or loathe it. But, if you connect with the words you may appreciate what is being articulated, you might even love it.
Poetry is a unique and eccentric form of literature; it has rules and layouts, forms and structures that must be abided by so that poets conform, it is as open and accessible as you want it be so that it can be written in any way, shape or form you wish to use, and it can be as long or as short as you want it to be. Poetry style then, in essence, is as totally contradictory as the thoughts that tumble around our busy minds. The only thing that can be said about poetry with any certainty is that people will loathe or appreciate a poet from one poem to the next. The balance that every poet has to consider is do I write for my own vanity or do I care what the reader thinks???
Well… Do I care what readers think…??? As the English poet John Keats is quoted as saying “Poetry should… should strike the reader as a wording of his own highest thoughts, and appear almost a remembrance.” So yes… I do…!!! Once I have passed my thoughts to paper, and they find someone to connect with, the meaning and understanding conveyed in the poem belongs to the reader. Any emotional impact a poem once had for me, when I penned it, is now connected in some esoteric way to the reader. But, if the reader hates the poem, it is all mine and mine alone.
From my experience poetry, not just my book but all poetry needs to find a connection with the reader more than any other writing medium. “Poetry is the revelation of a feeling that the poet believes to be interior and personal which the reader recognizes as his own” a quote from Salvatore Quasimodo.
So… Why on earth would you buy my book, or any other poetry book for that matter…??? Poets sit alone among many waiting for someone with a poetic mind such as theirs to connect our thoughts with theirs, and then a reader may just buy our book. Because as W.B. Yeats is quoted as saying “The true poet is all the time a visionary and whether with friends or not, as much alone as a man on his death bed.”