One of my work friends told me about the game, “Don’t you hate it when…,” that you take turns playing. This, not surprisingly, is my new favorite game.
Don’t you hate it when you click on an essay that, from the title and header, you think you’d be passionately interested in, only to find it was written by a poet who would rather hear herself put gorgeous images describing her relationship with a friend on the page rather than tell a story and explore the implication of queer women’s friendships as promised by aforementioned title and header?
Don’t you hate it when you anticipate that half your audience will roll their eyes and say, “Man, poets, what can you do?” when in fact you are a poet and you know you can do quite a bit better?
There are times when a person needs to write an essay and a time when a person needs to write a poem. An essay can use imagery and wander, but ultimately its purpose is to inform or take the reader on a journey they can follow. A poem can do all these things; it also should be about something. But the narrative, as a former poet colleague once like to say, can be a bit more buried. The journey can be a little more in the reader’s head than in the poet’s head. The two go on the same journey, but may end up in different places, and that’s okay.
What do you hate?