I have come to realize I don't understand prose poems. I have read quite a few lately (boy, they're pretty popular among "contemporary" poets) and have figured out what I thought were once prose poems, aren't. They are big, unyielding blocks of metaphor and ramble. Perhaps it is harsh, perhaps not harsh enough. I have seen excellent images swallowed whole by encompassing drivel and sprawling, delicious sound soured by too much text.
I am a poetry dinosaur. I don't think they're "cool" and "experimental".
I also have problems with spacing and line placement in poems. Oh, before you jump on me, I am NOT saying all poems have to have neat, matching stanzas or anything of the kind. But, sometimes, I see poems that have odd formatting for NO purpose. It doesn't enhance the text, as it should or add anything but oddity to its visual presence. People are taking more liberty with formatting and, in a digital age where things are often read on mobile devices, I think it is a bad liberty. Spacing your lines across the page because your poem is about distance is GOOD. Doing it because it is "edgy" is BAD. See the difference?
I don't know. Maybe I am just from an age that has gone by. It WOULD explain why my work sees heaps of rejection. I don't write paragraphs with no end. I don't toss words on paper like spray paint. There are other things that irk me but these are the worst so far.
Am I wrong to feel this way?
No, you are not wrong to feel this way. The wonderful thing about writing is that everyone has an opinion and no two are the same.ReplyDelete
I think having different types of poems available just gives more variety to the art form.ReplyDelete
I get what you mean, Jennifer! It is good to have a variety of poems on various topics and in various styles, but indeed there should be some key formatting. And when people send to official poetry contests or quality poetry magazines for submission, they must adhere to the format or they won't be accepted. There should be a format that makes any kind of poem (whether rhyme or free-verse) look like a poem rather than like an essay. A poem is one thing and an essay is another different thing. I think some people take too much liberty and just put anything out there without really knowing what the definition of a poem is. The structure is there to help and to enhance rather than restrict. If someone wants a different style then they should write a short story or an essay instead. If is still important in this day and age to understand what something is. Clear writing that can be understand and enjoyed by all should be the goal. Take care!ReplyDelete
No, you aren't wrong to feel that way. We all have our tastes and you have to write/read what you want to.ReplyDelete
NO! Poetry can be tough, not everything appeals to everyone and it seems more subjective than regular written works. It's usually not easy to understand so it just depends on your taste :)ReplyDelete
Hey Jennifer! I think it's hard to let go of our own visions for literature, whether poems or fiction. We tend to steer away from those things that dont fit our molds. And that's ok. It's why this biz is so so subjective, and difficult. Every writer should stay true to who they are. :)ReplyDelete
I know, but still. It is like my tastes are leaving me in the past. An increasing number of publications seem to even FAVOR the types of poetry I shy from.ReplyDelete