Writing a bad poem is fun. Writing a good one is damn hard work.
I suppose that seems obvious, doesn’t it? But after spending a week trying to write my first big girl poem, I have an even deeper appreciation for the Ted Koosers of the world. To write a poem that a reader understands and appreciates is a tiny miracle. To make a reader happy she spent a few minutes of her day reading your piece is an even bigger miracle. How on earth do great poets do it? Can they please bottle their magic and sell it?
In the first week of my workshop, I shared a poem I had written several months ago. Now in week two, I’m about to share a poem I’ve written under the influence of my talented teacher and fellow workshoppers. It feels like hosting a dinner party, and admitting to your guests that you’ve burned the fish, just before you serve it: Please accept this really bad piece of work, and let’s all hope it goes better next time. If this were a poetry cage match, I’d come out of the cage in shreds.
What, you think I’m going to post this new, improved, bad poem? Are you nuts? Instead let me share a silly little poem I wrote – one of the good ‘ol bad ones:
Silly Little Poem (previously titled “Dare”)
Go ahead, light me up
Send me to the moon
Stand me on my head
Shove me off the high dive
Spin me blind-folded
Tip my canoe
Go ahead, Poet,
I triple dog dare ya
See what I mean? Wasn’t that fun? Bad, but fun. I know they say anything worth doing, is worth doing well. But sometimes it’s just fun to do something not so well, just for kicks. After all, it’s just poetry.