“They should have sent a poet”
In high school, I was assigned a paper that involved picking a poem to analyze. I was frustrated because I didn’t understand so many of the poems and the first one that I “got”, was rejected by my teacher as too simple. The most frustrating part was that I couldn’t see a path by which I could put in effort and get results out. How do you research the meaning of obscure references from a time past or describe the effect of the use of adjectives that all began with the same letter.
Later, I found poets that I were very compelling. Without a paper due, I could relax in to the poem and just the enjoy the effect, like a nice glass of whiskey, I may not be able to describe the components of the “nose” but I can still enjoy the warmth and the complex unindividuated tastes.
As I have read more poems, the ones that hit me over the head, I appreciate less, because “I get it already”.
When I am writing in a journal, or writing about myself, I find what I’m trying to convey too cartoon-mallet-to-the-head, and it sounds wrong. By writing more obscurely with more references and allusions it feels less ugly, less egotistical.
When seeing an incredible sunset that smacks me silly, and I lose my words and I stumble around saying “WOW just WOW. WOW” I think to myself of the scene in the movie Contact where Jodie Foster’s character says “They should have sent a poet”
Like poems, my appreciation for photographs started with working to remove all the unessential elements and get to the feeling of the photograph. But now those images feel “mallet-y”, and I long for the complex, and the unknown, the mystery and the allusion.
May all of us appreciate the situations we are in, that so simply full of life, in all its complications that we wish we were poets.