While I’ve always been enthralled by the English language and written word, my acceptance of poetry came much later, and with much cynicism. I was an open critic and even professed to hate poetry, especially all the rhyming. I mocked it as antiquated and pretentious. I thought those who claimed to love poetry were phoney and stuck up (“claimed” because I couldn’t fathom anyone having any real affinity for something so dry and cliche). I was sure they cared more for the air of sophistication and academia that came with reciting prose to lovers and carrying Frost or Shakespeare under their arm. The few poets I did choose to read were poets I felt were subtly mocking the genre. Ogden Nash being a prime example. Or poets like Dr. Seuss, Shel Silverstein or Roald Dahl who I felt had a good sense of humor about their craft. Their slightly dark, almost tongue-in-check undertones allowed me to appreciate their poetry while not betraying my own irrational generalizations. I was sure they were mocking their craft. My narrow minded disregard didn’t allow me to see that their work as poets was just as much “poetry” as any of the authors we were forced to read in school. They weren’t mocking poetry, they were shaping and redefining its parameters. All art forms allow for the unique style of the artist. That’s what defines art. This realization came to me when I was at a Phish show one time and I was, once again, struck by the genius of some of their lyrics. I was inspired to write lyrics of my own. And then it hit me. Song lyrics are just like poetry, but set to music. I like songs and I like their lyrics. Therefore, I must like poetry! With this newfound epiphany, I decided it was high time to shed my ill-based, close-minded prejudice and re-exam this artform. I am a writer after all. It doesn’t speak very highly of me to discredit a whole genre of written word based on some half baked idea that it was somehow beneath me. I just wasn’t a fan of Robert Frost. So what? All painters don’t have to love Monet. It’s just a style preference. I was liberated to explore and enjoy poetry without preconception.
I was still hesitant to fully embrace the whole rhyming thing for a while, opting for syllables over rhymes. That’s still my preference. But for the last 4 or 5 months I’ve been trying my hand at rhyming as well. It started as a freestyle experiment. A friend and I would play a beat and take turns rapping to it for hours. Soon I began collecting verses and lines that I really liked. I’m also the last person on the planet that most people would expect to start spitting rhymes. So the shock value was fun as well. But I really enjoyed it. Soon I started pairing verses together and before I knew it, I had a collection of poems that I think are pretty fun.
Of course, you guys already knew I was a fan of haiku. But I want to start sharing my long form rhyming poetry with you as well. I’ve already posted one of my heavier poems, A Love Poem To Heroin. But I’ve got lot’s more to come! Hope you enjoy! Also, feel free to submit your poetry and creative writing as well! I’d love to read it.