Poetry Asses

My Personal List Of Poetry Assholes

  1. People who write Haiku and claim to have worked hard at it.
  2. Slam poets who don’t know how to wrestle.
  3. Neo beat poets who smell nice and are well fed.
  4. Confessional poets who have nothing interesting to confess.
  5. Lovers who think that Romantic poetry is about their torrid love affairs.
  6. Concrete poets who have never tended a cement mixer or built a building.
  7. Any one who thinks Shakespeare was a genius.
  8. Writers who think the written word shouts louder than the spoken.
  9. Spoken word poets who don’t know how to write but do know how to shout.
  10. Poets who think poetry sucks and then write a blog about it..
  11. Journal writers who want to publish the travails of their lives as poetry.
  12. All poetry judges.
  13. Professors of creative writing programs who don’t themselves write.
  14. Poets who give negative feedback in poetry workshops, “For your own good.”
  15. Average people who say “I use to write poetry”.
  16. Republicans who claim to have a creative side while voting against the arts.
  17. Any one who thinks Keats and Byron are still relevant today.
  18. Poetry academics that turn up their nose at anything written after 1900.
  19. Free verse poets who don’t know how to write a couplet that rhymes.
  20. Ignoramuses who believe that alliteration is an arcane science.

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38 responses to “Poetry Asses

  1. Well, you got me twice there. If anyone was a genius with the language, Shakespeare was and George Gordon, Lord Byron, invented being a rockstar, every one that followed was a mere imitation, hence still relevant. I would add, “Anyone who says they write because they have to.” and “Anyone who thinks ‘spoken word’ is a modern invention when it was actually the origin of poetry.”

  2. Snort, Snigger, Snicker. Loved #s 3, 11, 13, & particularly 14–amen, brother. Don’t know about Shakespeare.
    Lately I’ve learned the last lacks legitimacy. lol

  3. gingatao — Thank You

    I aggree – “Anyone who thinks ’spoken word’ is a modern invention when it was actually the origin of poetry.” I have written about this before…It is great to read the comment of a like mind on this subject…

    On the other hand Shakespeare is another matter 🙂

    Hello mUSe,

    Thanks for your comment – one of the things thats funny about the above list is that there have been points in time as a writer that my style of thinking and writing – was very much like one of the types described on this list…


  4. haha .. these are good. How about ‘someone who has a poetry blog who doesn’t consider herself a poet.’?

  5. I would love to be able to write poetry.Wouldn’t dare now.
    I have enjoyed reading you’re posts,and liked your poems.- didn’t understand half of it but I’m trying.
    Agree a lot with Gingatao.
    Have you read a lot of Shakespeare?
    Will keep looking.

  6. I would add I hate it when people try to intellectualize poetry. Hey, if your thinking your dead and if you write without thinking then keep on writing because that is an authentic voice. Damn the critics!! Now what was I thinking! Ha ha! Great post my friend.

  7. …i was not dead when i wrote this…somewhere though….now where was i? Yes, those horrible academics spewing rules and qualifying what is and what is not poetry…i wonder if they wrote a list too?

  8. Love the list, Poetman… especially #20, a problem for which I’ve long lusted lasciviously.

  9. Bob – last light longs for luminance like the lazy alliterating laureate…

  10. well mr poetman I am jumping up and down on a most indignant trampoline…….Shakespeare maligned (a god) and Keats (a god) and Byron (demi-god), though I agree with many of the rest…….. you got me mad, lucky I like you (laughing and spluttering alternately).

  11. Now jo, think of your heart – I don’t know, jumping up and down and all might not be wise…

    I wrote this as an iconoclastic bombast back in the early days of my blog…I was trying to get attention…I guess it worked…although it took a while….please forgive me – instead of critiquing his genius (which I agree he has) I should have wrote that I don’t like reading him – I am no fan of trying to parse the style of his english…perhaps that speaks more about my genius…than his…be well and thanks…

  12. For some reason you remind me of one of the masses that go in the saying
    “How many photographers does it take to take a picture.
    One to take the picture and 49 to say I could have done that”.

    I guess it’s true in all aspects of life to which people usually verbalise their opinions about their peers or others in general then concentrating and Doing vs. chastising.

    For some reason I use to think poets were immune from this iffliction.
    Guess not.

  13. m6fan – so I guess 49 others elected you as their spokesperson…nice critique of my tongue in cheek…perhaps you should stick to your photographs – which by the way are awesome…

  14. Tee Hee (That is all I could come up with.) Your poem is great made me twist a smile (:

  15. I mean list thingy ha ha

  16. Ha, Ha, definitely an interesting list. #4, 11, 19 has me thinking you’ve been reading my blog. I think I’ll be back..:)

  17. love, love, LOVE this!

  18. An interesting list. But you got me several times:
    Like someone before me said, Shakespeare revolutionized the English language and Byron was the first rock star.

  19. Mina – Thanks for coming – its great that people like both Shakespeare and Byron…Call me a fool cuz while I respect their distinct genius, I find it damn difficult to read them…my experience reading them may be like the experience of people reading my poetry…but I hope not…

    Be Well

  20. the ones about the neo poets and journal writers are decidedly great….though i gez i mdisgraced since i fall in your free verse category….hence i am not a poet
    Also love your poems…the l.a. one was gr8

  21. I got one: people who think lyrics and poetry are synonymous

  22. Paul – Write on the money…with that one.

  23. I hate people who look for hidden meanings in poetry. There, that needed to be said. Many of us started out doing this, and it’s really awful and limiting. Just read and enjoy the damn thing.

  24. I agree with Rethabile. Well, I know she doesn’t exactly mean the word “hate”, poetry should be just as easy to understand as prose. . . but it must fall lyrically to the ear. And, if the work does not “flow”, it is prose, not poetry.

  25. Ha. I’m definitely guilty of number 15. And, even though my last name is Montague, Shakespeare wasn’t even close to genius.

    Great list. I’m looking forward to reading more of your blog.

  26. Shakespeare was a good poet. I have read his entire body of work. He knew a hero’s couplet when he wrote one. I hate him but he is my grandfather

    I hate poets who make half ass attempts and then wonder why people give them negative feed back.

    The professors of poetry who write would agree with you on 19. They want all poets to master form.

    14 -I hate workshops that pretend to be poetry readings. The poets just suck your soul out and make you do their work for them and don’t realize a cliche is a sin and cute little cat poems are killing humanity.

  27. pretty cool list. i identify in some way with every point. bitter experience has revealed to me the dark side of the poetry realm , in my city at least. i have been mocked for writing perfectly rythmic and ryhming poetry that carries meaning and knowledge by poets who can only write free verse about their genitals. so i write free verse about my genitals, just to show them how easy it is. i slam, and perform, and write, and volunteer for the major poetry group in my city. I research all my work, most comes with references, but no one ever asks. i perform for PHD writers, and look them straight in the eye with the line i want them to remember. i do alliteration that links to other forms of symbolism, but no one ever sees it. i live in a trailer park because i have given everything away to be a poet. i have lost friends, wives, family, lovers, children, jobs, money, career to be a poet. i see poetry judges who wouldn’t know irony if it bit them on the neck. my largest piece, 882 words, took ten months to write, the culmination of 17 years work, and PHD writers can’t grasp the simple stuff in it. my performances always draw reactions, at most gushing praises, at least quite acknowledgement. i perform for school children and slammers, old ladies and academics, drunks and men, any one, any time, any where. i am a performance slut. i memorise all my work, and recite it at call, choosing the rhyme as i assess the audience from the stage. i tire of the boring and docile rubbish that is pawned off as ‘poetry’. nature poems. wallpaper. toilet paper. greeting cards. jingles. jangles. rhetoric. lips and bums. one in a thousand poems move me, the rest should be moved. shakespeare was a christian, as were keats and byron. do the reasearch. boring. and they are all dead. i am sick of poets who think a muse is a fuck. a fuck is a fuck and a muse is a muse. get a dictionary. so why do i do it? ask my muse. she chose me, i didn’t choose her.

  28. Well you got me on quite a few. Started writing with my version of ‘grief poetry’ so guess that is just a journal in ‘poetic form’. Then there is the blogger type who thinks he is writing poetry but just ‘blogging in poetic form’ [me]. I was so happy before I read your 20 List but it actually makes a lot of sense and I do agree on most every point. Alas, alack!!!

  29. Dude – Relax, it’s all good…Write, for as a writer, it is expression in almost any form that leads to happiness – at least that is so for me…

    Ya gotta write first for yourself…finding your voice – worry about the ears later…

  30. These are the kinds of lists that make me want to crawl back into the hole that, deep down, I know I belong in, fearing, in typical creative (?) insecurity, that I fall into all 20 categories. Oh the humiliation; the scorn! That being put out there, fwiw, although I’ve been brainwashed into thinking Shakespeare was a (some say thieving) genius, nonetheless I admit to difficulties *understanding* him; I did find #7 most liberating. Heehee…

  31. Nan – What can I say but that it seems all of us might have our poetry viewed in the negative, I know that my poetry hasn’t seemed to light the world on fire – maybe I am missing something…don’t stop writing, it is the only way through…

  32. Ouch! I write haiku. But I don’t pretend to work hard at them, so I guess it’s okay.

    I also don’t take my poetry writing too seriously or pretend to be any good at it. I write poetry for fun. Maybe you should put “Posers who don’t take poetry seriously and just write it for fun” on your list…

    My #1? People who get all bent out of shape and feel they need to make lists about what gets them all bent out of shape.


    Nice blog.

  33. Amy – Thanks for coming to my blog, for your comment and for your addition to this list…

    I want to deny that this list was generated by me as an act of “Getting all bent out of shape” but you caught me…I think when I wrote it I was expressing my frustration with the poetry of others…maybe cuz I thought I was so great…but I am on this list too…I wonder if you know where?


    Poet Man

  34. first of all, you’re an idiot

    a major reason why poetry is dying out is because we have forgotten where we come from as writers. people like shakespeare, byron and keats were absolute geniuses and seriously studied poets of the past, such as chaucer. this is how they learnt. by saying keats is not relevant just means you are completely ignorant as a supposed writer and probably think you’re the bomb, and i doubt u are. the fact is after allen ginsberg died, his friends, after going thru his library, noticed how he had annotated william blake, just as blake annonated his hero milton. but by your philosophy i doubt u are a decent poet at all. you also write that u hate people that give negative feedback, or poetry workshops. obviously u have had bad experiences with people giving u feedback, and i’m not surprised.
    also, poetry, as many people DONT understand, is not just about context; keats is great because he uses language incredibly and thru that (so long as ur willing to jump into it) the reader is able to reach a whole new paradigm. writers these days cannot do that. the story is gone, we’re just left with pompous pretentious, selfish post-modernists. and the fact is that, yes, hardly anything except maybe ginnsberg and service is any good post 1900 because people have forgotten their influences and what it means to write. you’re just another victim. a big reason for this collapse is that music took poetry from the people and so we were left with the bare bones and its like, sadly, writing is having to start again.
    my last point is about shakespeare. i think it was princeton that, out of einstein, shakespeare and da vinci, regarded shakespeare as the greatest genius of all time. these people have researched their whole lives into this. you’re just some loser on a blog that has probably had bad experiences at poetry workshops and judges and wouldnt even know what an iamb is. so i wonder who’s opinion i should respect more? maybe u should actually try to read shakespeare. anyway, shakepeare is taught poorly at schools these days. you’re obviously a victim of that so i cant really blame u too much. but its people like u that are killing poetry.

    i feel sorry for you,

  35. tod thanks for your erudition here now
    though ill equipped to shake or rattle
    Poet Man from his perch of opinion,
    have you made yourself feel any better?

    You have failed to win much here and won’t
    cuz your fight is with one who is not I
    your eye in the mirror will show you are
    the one to change the one who needs to grow

    tis better to reflect on your good strengths
    then to shout over a poet or twos
    relevance to the steel cage of a list
    don’cha think you have better things to do?

  36. Go Poetman! You know, I am starting to feel that 90 percent of the work of a good writer is this sort of thing, creating context, developing an understanding of what you are up to, all the blah blah work and only ten per cent of it is actually doing the core writing. (P.S. these days I would add everyone single person on the person on the planet who callas themselves an editor to your list.)

  37. lol bahaha
    um excuse me, but i dont think u actually provided an argument. i listed many thought-out analyses, and u basically said i was wrong without any argument at all haha. typical
    thus, this isnt worth any more of my time.

  38. tod –

    You’re right I didn’t…

    A counter argument or defense is not necessary.

    Your points are your points, you have been heard – your comments stand, they are what they are, for better or worse…

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