Friday, May 12, 2006

They're playing torch songs on the radio

Do poems have to be about something important in order to be important poems?

I mean, no, I know they don't (red wheelbarrow? come on). And I've read (and written) so many poems that desperately want to be important, but fall on their faces from trying too hard.

But what makes a poem an "important poem"? What?



Radish King said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Radish King said...

I had a cup of coffee and came back to read my comment and realized that, as usual, I completely misread your original post and strayed clean on over into another county.

I swear.

I'm such a tard sometimes.

Anne said...

Hmph. Your original response made sense to me, O Radishy One, but then I haven't had coffee yet either, or else maybe we live in the same county today.

Ross White said...

In most foreign countries, poetry's greatness is assessed by the Shatner Scale.

Bad poetry is poetry that is made pleasant only when read by William Shatner.

Good poetry is poetry that does not require a Shatner reading to be pleasant to the listener, but is improved by the Shatner reading.

Important poetry is poetry that, when read by Shatner, is no more pleasant than it was without Shatner. Only a very few poems meet this criteria. Very little in the literary world is not made better with Shatner.

Anne said...


Pamela said...

I laughed so hard while about reading the S. scale, I thought I was going to SHATNER myself.

Lyle Daggett said...

When I was at a friend's house once many years ago, he played a record album (i.e. an L.P.) of the actor Sebastian Cabot (renowned, if that's the word, in the U.S. for playing the butler "Mr. French" on the insipid "comedy" show Family Affair back in the 60's or so) reading the song lyrics of Bob Dylan. "The words of the poet," the jacket copy proclaimed, "read by the actor."

(Symptoms may include shivering, nervous indigestion, random memory loss, bone collapse, spontaneous human explosion, total unexplained paralysis and dry mouth. Consult your doctor.)

I think an interesting way to decide if a poem is important is whether someone puts a copy of it on their refrigerator door.