Thursday, 30 August 2012

The difference between amateur and professional poetry?

Recently one of my poems from this blog was given a professional criticsm. Since then, I have struggled with the idea of "weight" in a poem. Which I was told is the difference between amateur and professional poetry. The idea being that the words (nouns and verbs) in a poem should have a density compared with prepositions and adverbs.

I find that the rythm of a line is the foremost criteria of a poem for me. (I love Dr Seuss for example). I have been reading a number of poetry magazines from our local library and the thing that keeps preventing me from enjoying that poetry is that I have to work to: 1) read them and 2) understand them. Some examples are:-

To some extent this resonated with an article in a local, recorded music society newsletter I read only last night. The argument in this article, was that "pop music" was bad because it was enjoyable; and that "classical music" was good because it had limited appeal.

I enjoy some classical music but I have enjoyed a heck of a lot of pop music over the last 50 or so years.

My point, I think, is that heavy is not always good. In fact it can be downright boring. So am I wrong in enjoying poetry because of its rythm rather than a clever use of words and metaphors?
I write songs and poetry in much the same way that I would speak. I do not change my use of words or language in an effort to be clever; is this wrong? Does it make my poetry bad?

This is something which I will have to ponder upon, probably for a long time to come.

One possible outcome of this is that the one-a-day challenge which I set myself is unfortunately becoming a struggle. There may be other reasons, I started with a burst of enthusiasm and this may be waning. I have been busy and may have too many things on. However, I am still detremined to try and keep up with it, if only at a reduced success. As long as I don't feel that I am writing for the sake of numbers I will keep at it.

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