Must Poetry be Difficult?
April 19, 2012 at 10:23 am #100582
Poems generally have a reputation of being “difficult” to understand which is why some people do not appear keen on them. Sometimes, personally, I don’t seem to get the meaning of what the poet is saying in the poem. Apart from the beauty of the rhymes and music of the poem, I don’t easily understand the message. But do poems necessarily need to be complex? Is there no way we can make our poems simpler and straight to the point for our readers who may be “lay” men?April 19, 2012 at 11:04 am #112543
I write poetry, simple ones I think, but the thing is I’v noticed that its the difficult-to-understand ones that win awards. So I figure, the judges read such poems and feel, “this poet is so intelligent I can’t understand him, but if I say the poem is wack I’l reveal my apparent ignorance, so..it’s a winner…”
Or maybe it’s just me…and you that think this way.April 19, 2012 at 11:19 am #112544
I think the main problem with poetry/poets is that they tend to be too self absorbed.They write what they feel how they feel it; which is not a problem. But most of them forget the existence of an end user…and therefore lose so much. If as much/as little as one person understands clearly the meaning behind the poet’s words…his purpose has been fulfilled. But if he cannot find anyone who understands him/his works..he has failed.
i also think readers too need to stretch themselves; their minds and imagination when it comes to grasping poetry. A lot want everything to be done for them, and some times the beauty of a poem is hidden in its subtlety. So…work needs to be done across board.
My 50kobo.April 19, 2012 at 12:06 pm #112545
My best poems are the ones that are easy to get. I had this friend who explained his poem as I read because he used words he might never use ever again in his life.
I think it’s just the need to sound intelligent that makes people use big words.
Even film reviewers do that sometimes. You use big film to review a simple film thereby making the film more complicated.
If your poem can’t make an enjoyable read with simple words, then confuse of with big words then, lol.April 19, 2012 at 12:10 pm #112546
*’us’ not ‘of’
And us here means the judges of poetry contests too like @literati noted.April 19, 2012 at 12:11 pm #112547
Mr Uzuazo @literati really has a sense of humour. And it is actually true that the complex ones are those that get the awards. I have gone through some poems tagged as great and found nothing great about them except of course their “mysteries”. I’m sure your explanation above must be the reason.
I agree with Mr Seun that we would have to stretch ourselves to understand what the poet is saying, but I think sometimes, just as he said, poets are too absorbed, writing about their feelings that they forget about the readers.
Poetry would make a very efficient communication tool if it were not hidden in the poets’ complexities.April 19, 2012 at 12:23 pm #112548
but then again, maybe we’r just too dumb to appreciate the ‘beautifulness’ if u like, of such award winners, for real.
It takes a connoisseur to know fine wine, for example, which would taste like piss in my mouth.April 19, 2012 at 1:17 pm #112549
You might be right. But the question really is this: “for whom are the poems meant?” Are they meant for we the “too dumb” or the great ones who are most likely to be the authors?April 19, 2012 at 1:32 pm #112550
I want to add that we have to strike a fair balance between the two.April 19, 2012 at 1:46 pm #112551
Maybe arts is personal. Steven Spielberg will always say make a film you wouldn’t mind watching.April 19, 2012 at 2:48 pm #112552
@jaywriter that’s probably the motto of Nollywood, no wonder they appeal to only some ppl groups. ‘Write a poem you won’t mind reading’ is what got us here in the first place. That kind of poem should remain between the covers of the author’s diary. Ppl r different, so while you want to write something you won’t mind reading, think of the others you hav the opportunity to influence, what do they like to read?
We don’t just cook food that, palatable to us alone, cos we could hav guests..and the guest is [almost, says me] always right.April 19, 2012 at 3:59 pm #112554
Arts is not food shah.
Samuel Beckett, Woody Allen, Henrik Ibsen are all classical names who didn’t write for everyone. But they have a good followership.
Be the first audience for whatever arts you produce. Everyone mustn’t enjoy it. That’s why even on NS, we all have our favourite writers.April 19, 2012 at 8:44 pm #112555
@Sontel, good topic.
Reading poems on NS, I’m led to feel that some writers do feel that their poems are not really poems unless they are hard to understand. I’m not sure why; maybe this is a legacy of having to read for education rather than for enjoyment.
@Literati‘s poems are really the exception, and that’s I why enjoy them.
Having said that, I do also like poems that creatively use language to paint pictures and create ideas in my head. I also like poems that make me think about things that I hadn’t previously given a thought.April 20, 2012 at 8:49 am #112556
dats y no publisher wants to publish poetry, becoz nobody will want to read them. so poetry becomes tough meat-kpômô- all thanks to them award winning poets. me, i dont care for awards, i write poems whether simple or otherwise dat any body can read and relate to. like wise zazuApril 20, 2012 at 8:51 am #112557
dats y no publisher wants to publish poetry, becoz nobody will want to read them. so poetry becomes tough meat-kpômô- all thanks to them award winning poets. me, i dont care for awards, i write poems whether simple or otherwise dat any body can read and relate to. like wise zazu
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