Mid week Poem – Advice to a Young Poet from a Cynical Has-Been

Poetry’s just like Art

I know what I like and I can do it myself

But I can’t discern the difference between good and great,

mediocre and marvellous

Yet, I do know awful.

I know the Tay Bridge Disaster is a disaster of a poem

and not just because I was told so.

I know Shakespeare’s sonnets are things of beauty.

But be blown if I can tell why some of this modern shit gets published.

What defines it all now?

Where is the importance of structure and rhythm,

let alone a sophisticated turn of rhyme?

In the plethora of  e–publishing

have we lost the sense of what is good,

what is worthy

in that most obscure and least financially rewarding art form?

I guess my dog could paint something as fine as Picasso

and my rooster could pen a poem that was eagerly published

then go onto win a prize.

I can tell you why a short story is rubbish,

why your novel in progress will always be that

I know why your article won’t be accepted for publication

But please don’t ask me about your poetry.

Never ask me about that.

You see, more than any other form,

the personal, not the objective or rational, rules the roost.

Find an editor who loves your style

Then you’ll be fine, lauded and loved – the darling of the festival circuit

But you’ll never make a living


So if you want to eat and drink

write porn instead

self publish your poetry or save it for dark drunken nights

and selected sycophants who’ll say the right thing in your sensitive poet’s ear

Keeping your poetic dreams alive

(Images courtesy Google Images and Andrews UK for cover of Infidelities by Kat Quickly)


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One Response to “Mid week Poem – Advice to a Young Poet from a Cynical Has-Been”

  1. marylholden Says:

    Fine art, or…festival art? That is the question!

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