Tuesday, 18 September 2007

The Who, What and Why of Poetry

Rethabile has some interesting questions on Poefrika. So I thought I'd have a go at answering them:

Who's your hero? Why (Not necessarily a writer -- do not include deities or family)? I really don't think I have a hero as such....

Who's your favourite dead poet? Rebecca Elson. I love all her poems because she brings together science and poetry to shed insight into the meaning of life.

What well-known poet/writer have you met? What was the occasion? I've met several well known poets, mostly at the Scottish Poetry Library.

How do you recognise a bad poem? What are its characteristics? Bad poems come in many forms, including poetry written slavishly following a particular form without understanding what lies below (eg 5-7-5 poems that call themselves haiku but that don't understand what a haiku moment is; villanelles and pantoums where the repitition adds nothing to the meaning and just causes extreme irritation; strangulated grammar for the sake of an end rhyme.)

Why are some poems entitled untitled? What's your take on that? Some poems I think are genuinely untitled and are only found later when the poet has died and are published as 'Untitled'. Haiku never have titles, they're considered unnecessary.

If you decide to answer these question on your blog, why not let me know in the comments so I can come over and visit!


Jo said...

So love what you said about haiku.......I am a huge fan of this form but don't always follow the rules (particularly as they don't translate from Japanese to English) because it's so not about that.

Crafty Green Poet said...

Jo, thanks, yes there's so much more to haiku than the syllables....

Rethabile said...


That's a good enough reason I guess for a poem to be called "untitled".

For the bad poem, too, you're spot on as far as I'm concerned.

...deb said...

Intersting answers, Juliet. I didn't read them until I'd taken the meme on myself.

(Find mine at

I'll try to find Elson (I think you've posted about her before, right?)

Rethabile said...

Mine's up: Rethabile
Cheers to you.

January said...

My meme is up, too.

And your take on a bad poem made me laugh. So true!