If you read my blog (I'm beginning to realize I start a lot of my blogs with those words), you assume I like to write. For the most part, I do. News articles, interviews, fiction, non-fiction, comedy, movie reviews and even screen plays if I were given a chance. I used to write poetry, even had a poem published in a magazine about 12 years ago. It was something I enjoyed because it helped me express feelings I felt but was never sure how to say it.
But now, I LOATHE everything about poetry and I don't know where to place the blame.It's a toss up between the teacher of the advanced poetry writing class I took or possibly myself for being so thin skinned. Since this is my blog, I'm going to go with the former.
During my time at WSU, I had taken every writing class known to man and excelled at almost all. I decided to push myself, and in the senior year that I never finished, I took advanced poetry writing, thinking it would be a breeze. Work wise, it kind of was but emotionally, it was draining. I had a teacher so Goddamn dry, toast would fear him. I swear, the way he talked just put me to sleep most of the time. He would sometimes assign us subjects that were the most uninteresting subjects to write poetry about. I did not care about these poems but after I'm going to say a month of uninspiring poetry, the teacher, I guess, noticed how flat everyone's work was and let us write about whatever we wanted. This was exciting news, even if the teacher said he would assign us subjects to write about from time to time.
|A possibly less jaded me on the left.|
As I wrote more personal poems, I became frustrated because all of my work was met with a "it's good but..." while it felt like everyone else's work felt like it was being praised up and down. I wrote a particular poem about downtown Dayton and not only did was it met with a "it's good but..." but a douche in the class had the never to say "if no one cares about the downtown Dayton, no real point in writing a poem about it". Now most people I know would say, the SDS looks like he doesn't have a single violent bone in his body. Well that day, I was about to take the that violent bone in my body and stab this douche with it. Yes, folks, I almost got into a fight in the middle of a poetry class. Took two other classmates and the teacher to hold me back. Okay, maybe it was more of a big shouting match but it felt like I was gonna stab him. Instead, I decided that my next poem would be about the douchebag.
The day after I turned in the poem, as I was walking into the classroom, the teacher walked up to me and ask if I could step out of the class room for a moment. He asked if I was okay and I asked him why he asked and he said that he read my poem and was concerned that I would take action against the douche. I assured him that nothing would happen and proceeded to sit in the most awkward class sessions in all time. For everyone's concern, the poem was not threatening. I just pretty much used fancy words to call the douche...a douche.
One of last assignments, if not our last assignment, was to pick an influence of literature and/or poetry and write a poem about them. Everyone in the class was excited about this assignment, except me, of course. I know I've sounded like such a grump throughout this blog but hear me out. I was never influenced by poets or soliloquies, I just wrote about what I felt or saw. I didn't think I needed I needed a certain poet to influence me. And then I had an Epiphany, "that's what my poem would be about, the way the likes Angelou, Frost, Shakespeare, etc... didn't inspire me, I inspire me. I wrote this poem, putting all my heart into it, hoping to reach someone, anyone in what I was try to say (I forgot to mention that most of the class consisted of proto-hipsters). I turned it in, confident as hell that it would blow the socks off of anyone who read it. The next class, I sat in my seat waiting to hear the praises of classmates and, finally, my teacher.
When we read other students poems, I just said "Yeah, I really liked it". When mine was finally read, I was literally sweating bullets to hear responses. I heard "it was all right but..." from my classmates but at that time, their opinions didn't matter, only my teacher's did. When it finally got to him, I waited and waited and waited until I heard; "It's good but...". I was so pissed beyond pisstivity that I couldn't hear anything he said after that. It took every fiber in my being to not scream "WHAT THE FUCK DO YOU WANT FROM ME?!" in his face but I just nodded. When class was over, I made sure I was the first person to leave. There were a couple of classes left after this where I just sat in silence and turned my work in. I received a B in the class, which felt like the final slap in the face and at that point, I never wanted to write poetry again.