The instructor Lectures


Poetry is more than form, rhyme, or stylistics.
A poem must say something, impart meaning. (I like that.)

Man has achieved poetic excellence across the ages,
eras of classic poetry, all varieties —
relished, studied, widely praised. However,
even the most revered poets would
acknowledge magnificent poetry is rare.
But as you pursue the art don’t be discouraged,
pen your verses, persevere.
(We may not pen anything of value but keep trying.)

Theme powers the poem. No clever metaphor,
simile, or linguistic acrobatics ever redeemed
an otherwise trivial poem — so concentrate on
theme, content, words and form will follow.
(Sounds reasonable.)

With a wry grin, the instructor playfully adds,
avoid poems about sunsets, personal guilt,
or growing old — they’ve all been written.
(They have?)

Strive for freshness, originality,
let that be your quest, your holy grail.
If you produce one great poem
in your lifetime you will have done well.
(A jaw set and intense eye contact.)

Each attendee is to share one poem,
be critiqued by the group. I opt not to read,
or critique, decide to listen and absorb.
(Realize I have much to learn.)

At the conclusion of the session
I thank the instructor, buy her book,
clutch my sheaf of poems — Winter Sunset,
Confessions of a Procrastinator, and
The Art of Growing Old. (Whoops.)

I amble out to my car, chuckle,
contemplate quests and holy grails —
vow to write at least one great poem
(but certainly short of magnificent.)

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This Poems Story

The poetry experts lectures at a workshop.