Just a few days ago, one of my nieces paid me a compliment after reading one of my posted poems.
Then, in an almost apologetic manner, added her PS, seen below. I was amazed at her so-called "uninformed" insight!
Yes, Alfie - THAT'S what it is all about!
What's It All About, Alfie?
Copyright: September 18, 2004
This, is what my niece, Connie, stated:
"PS: Although I am totally untrained in the world of poetry, I know what "feels" right providing a depth of emotion in a flowing and colorful fashion which questions, and suggests, but does not provide a definitive answer. "
How astute! It reminds me of the old saying someone once made about 'art" - "I don't know anything about art, but I know what I LIKE!"
In my humble opinion, there is no "right" or "wrong" when one WRITES poetry - nor when another READS it. Usually the author has a thought, idea, or theme in mind when the "child" is 'birthed." But each human being who reads the "offspring" puts into it, all of their own personal training, education and experience, which he/she has assimilated thus far. And as a corollary, what is gotten out of it, is purely personal.
There is no Mathematical or Chemical formula involved, or employed, when writing poetry! Nothing is really "etched in stone." Metaphors, similes, personification, meter, rhyme, free verse, hyperboles, and any other "tools" the writer may use - these all play a part in setting the "tone" or a gist of an idea! And the flowing, the coloring, the emotion – these ultimately shape the end product.
FREEDOM - WOW! We all bandy that term about, almost like swinging our lances, or swords, at the windmills, or Dragons, don't we? What MORE could an itinerent author ask for? You can say: WHAT you want, WHEN you want, HOW you want, WHERE you want, about WHO you want - and guess what, Alfie?
Some will LIKE it - some will HATE it - and even some will be LUKE-WARM - but, you will never be WRONG! It is YOUR idea, YOUR "Brain-Child", YOUR baby, YOUR "Off-Spring" --- AND --- no matter how UGLY, as a parent, you will always LOVE it - no matter what the world-at-large thinks!!!
Inspiration is a wonderful thing, is it not? A veritable gift from God, right? But guess what, Alfie - sometimes, to write some really good "stuff" we have to use another ugly word - PERSPIRATION - and this, Dear Friends, is where one learns to fly like an eagle, to soar, to gaze down on Creation with admiration, and then - GLIDE - FLOAT - ABSORB - and then lastly, with all due humility (albeit your breast is bursting with PRIDE) say to yourself:
"SHIT - that ain't Half-Bad!"
In closing, I should like to share what I told my niece:
“ My Dear Woman: Your definition, as stated, is probably the BEST, most profound one I have ever heard! Using "it" as a yardstick, I would say that you understand poetry much more than others! BRAVO!
If I may, I should like to quote it, on my site - and see what other authors think about it! Let me know, OK?
And that, my Dear, is NOT Irish Blarney!
Thanks also, for your kind words. Love, Unk. “
Love of WHAT you do ----
and Love of WHO you do it for ----
THAT, Alfie, is what it's all about!
Peace to ALL - Tom.