I think most people writing poetry or writing about poetry, has their own concept of what should be, what shouldn’t be, what is, what is not: you know, our own little world of poetry. Not sure if any of us are right: we think we are, but whose standards are we going by? So I shall give you my propose and if it doesn’t fit into your box, burn it: your’ may be better anyhow.
When I use to read a poem, and I assume when many people do read a poem, and when I do read a poem myself, nowadays, besides my own, I, like most people want to know what the heck it means. As I have stated before in other poetry articles, and as I believe it should be, each poem is mini-story unto itself. With that in mind, we shift to the word, “Paraphrase,” or I can live with ‘substance,’ of the poem: again I am saying: the purpose of the story, what is the purpose of the story in the poem? You see, we flip back to step one. As I have told my wife many times, as she questions my poetry, she says: “Why this?” And I say “For effect.” And she says: “What~!” and I say, “See I got an effect from you.” Like any story you read, you are looking–I would think, for its effect, its outcome, what does it produce. If you were to read, “In Cold Blood,” by Mr. Truman Capote, the effect would be, or the result may be: stunning, for he book is one big upshot of wonderment. Poetry should do the same, or its aim should be the same, so I believe.
So now we got a poem, it is a story, and we are looking for its purpose within its given effect on our body and minds, which is called ‘paraphrase,’ now lets take this one more step, one more level, if you don’t’ mind. We have read the poem three times, and now we have interpreted it to how it has affected us. Our flesh, or organs and our mind, is jumping, our bones are being melted, or we are frustrated, and say: hell with the poem, I get only irritation out of it. Perhaps you can extract some meaning from the lines that hit home, and perhaps the poem is crap to start out with, so go find a poet you like. To the poet, he should have an aim with his poem; know where he wants to take his reader. It is like most things in life, why waste your breathe the readers time, if there is no reason behind it; nothing gives anything, breeds the same: nothing.
Now I will give you a poem (look for the effect it has on you, name it):
To Too Much
I have had way too much,
To too long, way too long,
To know that that I’m way
Too old to admit my ‘twos’
I asked a person what effect they got out of this: “I wondered why the writer was so tired.” Is what the person said. Now for you, what did you get? What did the author want? To perhaps see if twos [to, too, twos] can make a stanza, isolated the framework of the poem into a spell, hopefully, out comes the prose meaning: the person is old and is tired, very tired. If the poems were to continue, it would result in you knowing, or the person knowing who read the poem, more of the person who is tired, and perhaps you can identify with it, and why he or she was tired could make a difference.
In one way, it is nice to read poetry, it is quick, it is condensed, and it is the top of the line as far as writing goes: and a story of 10,000-works can be put into 10-stanzas. It draws out our emotions, or can and should: and should be of the best man has in his mind and heart to offer. And again, don’t take any of this personal, it is just my opinion, no more than that, and again, perhaps your reasoning is better than mine. So take it for what it is worth, and enjoy it.