Thursday, 6 October 2016

I'm a poet...

Today is National Poetry Day, so today I've promised myself not to write any poetry at all; not a single stanza, not a line, not a single rhyme. How hard can it be? After all, I'm not a fully paid up member of the National Union of Poets am I?

Of course to really qualify as a poet you need to live in a remote cottage in the Lake District, suffer with consumption, have an addiction to opiates, and be in an ill-defined relationship with your own sister. Do all of this and you just might find yourself wandering lonely as a cloud, or at the very least being investigated by the police. But not me. I am a poetry free zone, at least for today.

Deep inside all of us I think we have an inner poet scribbling away in some dusty corner of our psyche. How many times have you had one of those ‘I’m a poet and I didn’t even know it’ moments? We’ve all come out with something like: ‘Don’t get the hump, but I’ve broken your bicycle pump’, or ‘I think I’ll pass. Go stick your egg custard up your arse’. Inadvertent poetry is just one of the risks we take every time we speak and who knows when (and with what) our inner poet will strike next?

Sometimes I think that my inner poet is messing with my mind. I often find myself constructing sentences which overly rhyme when I'd like to write something that doesn't rhyme at all. It's like living in a pantomime of rhyme; a curse in verse to be so coerced. It's perverse, subverse, I wish it could be reversed. I rehearse, but it only gets worse, and I get terse when the rhymes won't disperse. So instead, in them I immerse. Perhaps I need a nurse, maybe a hearse, before I drown in this rhyming universe.

Sadly I’m a pretty good rhymer, I’ve always had a bit of a talent for it and at school once won the junior poetry prize for a poem about macaroons. Of course said macaroons were all eaten by baboons under the light of the moon which looked like a balloon in June in Rangoon and was eaten with a spoon during a typhoon which was very opportune. But I still think it that I deserved the fountain pen which I received as a first prize.

By the way: I lost that pen, can’t remember when. I put it down, on a day out in town, and when I went to pick it up, couldn’t find it again.

Poetry, poetry everywhere and not a rhyme for it. No matter how hard I try I can’t find a single word to rhyme with the word 'poetry'. Oh, there are words that come close, but no actual rhymes. The closest I can think of is ‘coquetry’ which is a very fine word if you are a seventeenth century metaphysical poet, but not exactly ‘down with the hood’ to us latter-day wordsmiths. Yes, Poetry (leaving aside coquetry) seems globally, knowingly, potently, notably without rhyming potency and is totally, woefully, maybe unknowingly, without a decent rhyme… supposedly.

Anyway, although I'm not going to write any, why don't you write a couple of lines of poetry today? We all have at least a little poetry inside us, even if it does mean unleashing your inner poet to do his worse.

Happy National Poetry Day.

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