Studying, Writing, and Reviewing Good Poems

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good poems

I’ve all the time beloved writing poetry. It’s a extremely creative and expressive type of writing. Poems might be mental, emotional, or summary. Poetry can really feel like a snapshot of a second in time, or it could actually really feel like a riveting three-hour movie. Each poem presents a singular perspective and expertise.

I consider that each one poetry is sweet poetry, and right here’s why: The very act of writing a poem, of expressing oneself, might be therapeutic and liberating. There’s worth in that.

However then there’s the matter of workmanship. A poem might be precious, to the author or the reader, however does that imply it’s a piece of fine craftsmanship?

Good Poems

After I was a youth, I believed that each one artwork was subjective, that magnificence was within the eye of the beholder. One particular person’s masterpiece was one other particular person’s trash heap, and each opinion was legitimate. My view has develop into extra nuanced through the years. I nonetheless consider that each one poems are good from the angle of the poet, who is ready to categorical a sense, discover an thought, or share an expertise. Writing poetry can be a studying expertise, and studying is all the time good.

Nevertheless, simply because a poem has worth — simply because it did one thing good for somebody — doesn’t imply that it’s objectively or subjectively good as a chunk of labor.

As you’ll be able to see, the phrase good can have a number of implications. A poem could be good for the poet, even essential for the poet, however that doesn’t imply it’s ok for publication. A poem could be good for one literary journal, however not good for one more.

Subjectively Good Poems

I’m a fan of e e cummings’ poetry. I believe he was a poetic grasp who knew find out how to play with language, grammar, and punctuation to render attention-grabbing results in his work. And I’m not alone. Cummings is extensively learn, celebrated, and revered. However some critics disagree. They may see his experiments with language as antics or gimmicks. Or possibly his poetry simply rubs them the unsuitable manner. Or maybe whatever the high quality of his work, they simply don’t like it.

All of us come to poetry with preferences and preferences.

A critic of e e cummings’ poetry can argue that his work is infantile. A supporter of his work will argue that infantile isn’t dangerous. Right here now we have two subjective views. Neither is essentially proper or unsuitable. They’re merely two completely different views.

Objectively Good Poems

Merriam-Webster’s Dictionary describes goal (adjective or transitive verb) as follows:

expressing or coping with details or situations as perceived with out distortion by private emotions, prejudices, or interpretations

An goal view of a poem, then, doesn’t decide whether or not it’s good based mostly on one’s private emotions or opinions. We’d use a set of criterion to evaluate a poem objectively.

Now, I’ve a little bit of an issue with this. I’m unsure it’s completely attainable to take away one’s private emotions or opinions when assessing a murals. That stated, there was a preferred band once I was in highschool that I believed was objectively good, however to not my style. I modified the radio station each time the DJ performed certainly one of their songs. You would possibly suppose that one film is objectively the perfect film ever made, however that doesn’t imply it’s your favourite film. You would possibly even dislike it, despite the fact that you’ll be able to establish its deserves.

The identical applies to poetry. You possibly can assess a poem’s qualities objectively: Is the language concise? Are the phrases properly chosen? Does the poem stream properly? Does it use imagery? Is each phrase essential? Is it freed from compelled rhymes and awkward language to suit a metrical sample? You could possibly make a listing of poetic qualities and evaluation a poem, checking off each merchandise in your checklist, one after the other. By means of that course of, you’ll be able to decide whether or not a poem is objectively good.

However as I’ve identified, that doesn’t imply you’ll just like the poem, even when it checks each field in your checklist.

Good Craftsmanship

I’ve discovered that assessing poetry by these three lenses is a helpful approach to research the craft: private worth, subjective desire, and goal high quality. I would learn a passionate love poem that’s peppered with dangerous rhymes and uneven meter and decide that this poet in all probability purged some intense emotions, which is sweet. One other poem could be mediocre, however one thing about it appeals to my private aesthetic — possibly it jogs my memory of a fond childhood reminiscence — so I simply like the poem, no matter how good it’s, objectively talking. And I can view one other poem and see that it adheres to all the perfect practices in poetry. Possibly I like this poem, possibly I don’t. However I can decide that objectively, it’s a great piece of labor.

So what’s a great poem?

Effectively, that will depend on the lens by which you’re judging it. If you wish to categorical your self and study the craft of poetry, you have to enable your self to put in writing poems that may not be publishable. If you wish to write poems that may get printed in literary magazines and journals, you’ll in all probability must step up your sport, research the craft, and learn to produce objectively good work.

How do you determine whether or not a poem is sweet? What criterion do you employ? Have you ever ever written a poem for the aim of pleasing no person apart from your self? Have you ever ever written a poem with an intent to get it printed? Share your ideas by leaving a remark, and preserve writing!

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