Are you a fledgling poet and an extremely “good” one at that but wondering why you are unable to keep the circle of friends you once enjoyed? Do well-meaning friends always have an excuse to avoid your lunch invitation? Are more and more members of your family enacting the Cheshire cat on the dinner table as you roll out your book of poems? Do you constantly hear yourself talking to voicemails or phone lines going dead?
Then it is time to take this quiz. If you have answer “yes” to 3 or more points, chances are you are one of the dreaded poets people love to hate. *Scary music*
- You Lie constantly: You have the constant, incurable need to fabricate lofty, soaring descriptions out of every day mundane events. The innocent barbeque at your friend’s backyard becomes a playground for the Greek Gods all complete with Hermes, Zeus and Aphrodite playing tags. Washing your hair resembles the Niagara Falls thundering down your head. Picking the weeds from your handkerchief garden reminds you of the prairies complete with fairies and pixies…Get the drift? Then my friend you suffer from poetic exaggeration. Give yourself a point.
- You have no place for the ordinary: The chief protagonists in your poem are in a constant state of euphoria even if all they are doing is passing gas. There is absolutely no such thing as an “ordinary” day. The synonym for boring is ordinary and ordinary does not belong in your poems because poetry is all about life extraordinaire. Correct? Give yourself a point.
- You are time blind: Time blindness is a major sickness many amateur poets suffer from. You basically only recognize two time zones: Dusk and Dawn. The sun is in an eternal state rising or setting. Ours must be the busiest planet in the Galaxy, with people constantly racing to either go to bed or wake up! Give yourself a point and underline it.
- You suffer from the curious case of adjectivitis. This is a very common and unfortunate disease that most poets and writers suffer from. If you are constantly dishing out adjectives like Santa dishing out toys on 25th of December than you suffer from adjectivitis. It’s Nasty! Do you often catch yourself adding meaningless adjectives such as “bright day”, “dark night”, “hushed whisper”, “tall palm trees”…? Be honest now, you know you have done it…
- You are guilty of Necromancy: Are you constantly invoking the Greek Gods to do your dishes, or take the dog for a walk? Some poets think poetry is all about the exotic and the more Greek Gods they invite to their living room and share their cheap $6.00 Chardonnay, the better their poem becomes. No, No, No please let the Gods rest in peace, unless there is a genuine reason to invoke them from their resting heavens! Give yourself a point my friend.
- You rhyme on a dime: If you think the idea of creating music in poetry is to rhyme at any cost then my friend you are creating another reason for the rest of the world to hate us. Rhymes make up for great nursery rhymes but don’t rhyme on a dime on somebody else’s time! Give yourself a point.
- You are “Killing me softly” with trite sentimentality: If you catch yourself explaining your pain or sorrow with trite words such as “pain”, “sorrow”, “tear drops” and “shattered shards of your heart” then give yourself a point. Good poets stay away from expressing their sentiments in trite language instead they paint a picture. Stop crying “tears of blood” instead give yourself a point, you have earned it!
If you have answered “yes” to at least 3 out of the 7 points then you have committed the Deadly sin of writing boring poetry. You suck as a poet.
But fear not, you are in good company with “yours truly” who has pleaded guilty on all counts. And may the souls of all who died listening to our poetry rest in peace! Amen.