I Want to Be Another PoetWritten by Catherine Rankovic
"What were you trying to say here? Makes no sense," he complained. I said, "But this, and this..." He wasn't buying. I saw that I was not going to become an author of serious, ominous poems about important international and social currents -- at least not by deliberately trying.
Not long ago tried a longer, solemn poem about something else important. Responses said it started out okay, had some good moments. Greatness was not mine.
Alas, like a singer I apparently have a range. Quirky, "jazzy" and "cute." I guess as long as I'm healthy and have enough to eat there is no point in wishing things were different. I've tried working within my range with very serious subject matter: In one poem I think is a good one, the speaker verbally abuses an ugly girl on a crowded greyhound bus. While I read it, the workshop laughed. "What are you laughing at? This is a very tragic poem," I said. The reply: "It's just the way you put things, like, her stye looked like a tomato seed." "But that's what a stye looks like," I said, chagrined.
Think it's time I gave up.
Writer, with 30+ years' writing and publishing experience, 20+ years' teaching experience. Last book read: Mrs. Lincoln by Catherine Clinton.
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