Last month, I attended a poetry workshop. After most of the others there had shared their work, and had constructive feedback, I shared mine. I got told that I demonstrated “good use of language”, but that my offering was “not poetry”. The instructor didn’t explain what I was doing wrong, just that I was, definitively, wrong.
That hurt, far more than it should. Some people are jerks, and I know that. But it really hurt to have my work shot down with no explanation. When I saw this challenge, I knew that I had the perfect way to put that hurt behind me, and get back to writing.
So here is my warm-up piece, a kidney punch to the ogre of insecurity. Warning: naked sarcasm ahead.
The English is good, and the grammar correct,
But this is not poem.
The rhythm is fine, and the stresses line up,
But this is not a poem.
The metaphor struggles on atrophied limbs,
The rhyming is weak, and the words just don’t sing,
And it’s not the way I would have written the thing;
No, this is not a poem.