Tuesday, March 9, 2010

What the eff?

What I love most about poetry, particularly free verse, is that I can essentially be free in my writing. Free from rules and endless possibilities for word choices. There are no pictures, but readers will see images (at least that’s my goal). I tend to gravitate towards poetry with vivid imagery. These poems are especially lovely when read aloud.

I have attended and participated in quite a few poetry readings. While I appreciate poets that write for “shock value” (wow, I didn’t expect that; now that’s a twist), I can’t say that I care for poems with profanity. When I say profanity, I’m talking about the use of the f-bomb and other colorful words that you won’t hear on daytime television. I’ve found that the use of these words can sometimes weaken the effect of the poem because it can draw too much attention to the word. I recall a poet that dropped the f-bomb, not once, but twice in the poem, and I lost focus. At the end of the reading, many people in the audience couldn’t remember what the poem was about. However, what they did remember was that it contained overflowing profanity.

I challenge poets to find other ways to say what they are feeling without the use of vulgarities. Metaphors, similes, alliterations, etc. are so much more effective than obscenities. Let’s exercise and stretch our creativity.