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April is the Cruellest Month

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I’ve always disliked poetry, but lately I’ve been feeling like I should write some.

For some reason poetry has always annoyed me because it seemed either a)totally pretentious b)too abstract & distilled to capture any real emotion c)a cop out for people who have a difficult time expressing their feelings in whole paragraphs d)sickeningly romantic, even if it’s not written about love. Not to mention I can’t stand reading forced rhymes and rhythmic sequences.

I think I’ve been able to enjoy poetry in music because the melodies and percussion seem to fill in the gaps where the words fall short. The music and lyrics combine to form a symbiotic brick-and-mortar relationship. When these two come together, it’s not poetry, or just simply a melody, it’s something much more interesting than the sum of the parts, which panders to our collective Synaesthesia.

In theory, what’s good about poetry is that all it requires is a vignette; you don’t need a beginning, middle and an end like you do for a story. It doesn’t even need to be a complete thought. The problem is, that in poetry, people tend to be pouty, self absorbed, non-explanatory, coy, drenched in self-pity, giddy, or worse, ambiguous. I think the majority of poetry I’ve read just seems incomplete and righteous, which irritates me because I think it’s an easy out for the frustrated, and usually boring, malcontent.

Poetry neither explains or advises. It just vents and whines and mumbles and day-dreams. But, if you get it just right, I think it illuminates, too.

Carl Jung talks about the Collective Unconciousness of the human race, a sort of reservoir where all of our emotions and feelings and experiences hang out in limbo. It’s like a mass of mental residue which teeters on the edge of our Subconciousness, an Influencer and a Guide.

I would like to think that a good poem would be a simple reflection of the Collective Unconciousness: easy to understand, available for all, a little reminder that ‘no man is an island unto himself’. That’s a tall order, which makes me afraid of writing it at all.

Perhaps that’s why I hesitate on poetry; I fear that if I write down what I can glean from the Collective, I wouldn’t be able to communicate it effectively, and I would be left with a banal non-structural load of debris. Then I’d have to face up to the fact that I too, am probably nothing more than a boring malcontent.

If pressed to choose a poet, I would say I’ve always sort of liked T. S. Eliot. I have a copy of the Wasteland, however, I’ve never gotten past the first two pages.

—–

From the Wasteland:

APRIL is the cruellest month, breeding
Lilacs out of the dead land, mixing
Memory and desire, stirring
Dull roots with spring rain.
Winter kept us warm, covering
Earth in forgetful snow, feeding
A little life with dried tubers

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Written by pocheco

April 2, 2007 at 9:21 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

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