I Am Not A Poet This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.

   I am not a Poet

by C. A., Anson, ME

I have a friend who, like many other "intellectual-types" writes poetry. He's relatively good at it and gets it published often, which gives him considerable satisfaction. Perhaps because this skill comes so easily to him, he is constantly urging me to attempt to write too. Ha.

There are a few reasons I don't. Once you say you have composed a "poem," people have expectations of you. If you meet those expectations, congratulations, you now fit into the category of the deep, intellectual being who are more intuitive and knowledgeable than the average person. If you do not meet their expectations, you have failed in what suddenly becomes a pitiful attempt, and are thus thought a fool for thinking you were being insightful to begin with.

Secondly, there have been so many poets on this earth that everything has been written about at least a hundred times. If it is "romantic" or mysterious, like the moon or death, it has been written about millions, maybe billions, of times. With all the poets that are and have been, everything HAS been written about already, so how can you be original?

Next, once you actually write enough poetry to proclaim yourself "a poet," you are plagued by friends who secretly write verse too, and want your opinion as the resident-expert. Poetry is such a personal thing that there are few people I would actually tell if I disliked their work, for fear of crushing their egos or worse, stopping them from writing altogether. That's a lot of responsibility.

Lastly, I don't think I am one of the "enlightened few" who has the intellectual capabilities to understand deep poetry which, I think, is a prerequisite to composing your own verse.

So, to all of you poets out there, my hat's off to you or whatever the clich" is; I really do enjoy reading your work. But as for becoming one of you, I don't think so. My stomach couldn't take it.

This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.

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Lily">This teenager is a 'regular' and has contributed a lot of work, comments and/or forum posts, and has received many votes and high ratings over a long period of time. said...
Jan. 12 at 1:18 am
i love this so much!
bennyB said...
Dec. 15, 2010 at 8:38 am
well for starters this piece is kind of whiney. Second poetry is not hard, any one who has a brain can do it. So what is people have expectations of you, who cares as long as you write what you want to write.
abeatlesfan65 said...
Feb. 8, 2010 at 9:10 pm
I really like the article! But let me say this: you say that poems can't be original. Sorry, but that's not true in the least. We wouldn't have so many poets, past and present, if it weren't for their belief in their ability to convey an emotion that is, however slightly, different from everyone else's. I am myself a poet, and know this from experience. Again, good article, you make a good argument, but I have to disagree with you there.
alayapoetgirl said...
Feb. 8, 2010 at 1:43 pm
I really enjoyed this article. I really felt you, although I am a poet myself I also write other things like short storie, quotes etc. And I definately understand what you mean when you say people expect more of you. Great expression
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