This week let’s go for the impossible…
Let’s define the characteristics of a great poem.
Let’s see if there are some universal features that we can use for our detective work… again and again? So we can spot the keepers we either find or write.
I mean we know what finding just the right poem can do for our mood and attitude. We know that sometimes we need just a little insight or chuckle.
Maybe it is a surprise we crave. A pattern-interrupt in the form of a new way of looking at something grown very familiar.
Or at other times we may need a heavier more potent elixir. We may have recently lost something precious. Or we could be feeling tired and grumpy and simply need something to remind us of our magnificence. Something to interrupt our “life as burden” stance.
Here is just where my guide comes in. It is not just a universal guide. It is the absolute simplest universal guide to finding (or writing) great poetry.
(Listen To The Audio Below)
A Good Poem Is A Virus
A good poem is a virus, operating
surreptitiously inside your secret body.
First the head stops believing the same
old things it has always believed and
for a moment stutters and skids sideways.
Suddenly the body stops insisting so much
and goes into this kind of standby mode,
which for some people feels pretty good.
At some point the heart gets in the act
and let me tell you that’s when all hell
breaks loose and I mean that in
a good way! If the virus then escapes
from the laboratory called you, even
more havoc will be let loose in the world.
And I doubly mean that in a good way!
Listen to me. I’m not kidding. Lives have
changed. This strange sickness is real.
By Dale Biron