Michael Shepherd

Rookie (8.4.1929 / Marton, Lancashire)

0283 A Poet Condescends - Poem by Michael Shepherd

It has been brought to my notice
that a review by you of
my latest book of writings
(the term ‘poem’ suggests
false expectations and is not therefore
used by me) claims that, I quote,
‘this poetry is so obscure that
I reckon it’s a hoax’…

Your comment is truer than
you yourself would appreciate.
My writing is indeed a hoax
in terms of your level of
understanding. I do not seek
easy paths to meaning, nor
the standard readymade language of the
avant-garde. So what I have
worked though, you have not,
and therefore, your understanding
however partial would be, in your
terms, a hoax.

Indeed, were you to write
an identical ‘poem’ to my writing,
it would indeed be a hoax –
it would not be the revisioning
of the cosmos, the semantic discourse
with language and communication itself,
the thoughtful and reasoned displacement
of prepositions and their too-long
accepted usage, the deep rejection of
all parameters of lazy thinking about
the imagined ‘purpose’ of poetry,
the study of Chinese orthography as preferred signifier,
in short, the ‘depth’ and ‘breadth’ –
although I of course reject the
accepted implications of those
out-dated metaphors for the
neurological Cartesian – which, in short,
‘I’ as presented in my writing
have voyaged.

However, in
the spirit of charity, I wish you well
in the deeper study of my writings,
and your ‘poetry’ magazine
should it continue its somewhat
faltering publication.

Besides, I’m a widely published
writer so yah boo sucks.

(Palinode to the above: everyone has the right to write obscure poetry...I'm unfairly attributing to the poet the attitude of those who put themselves on a pedestal and 'explain' why they're a genius...) (Though of course...)

Comments about 0283 A Poet Condescends by Michael Shepherd

  • (1/15/2006 7:39:00 PM)

    Although, many highly intelligent and successful writers can understand and appreciate the art of complex use of lanuage...but choose 'easy paths to meaning, and the standard readymade language.'
    Creation comes with perceptions...and poetry should be for everyone, that is why there is more than one style I suppose.
    Ignorance it seems at the heart of your critic.
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  • (1/15/2006 6:34:00 PM)

    I always thought there was more than one way to tell someone to go to hell. (Report) Reply

  • (1/15/2006 11:49:00 AM)

    This is great.......now this is confidence! Very nicely written Michael. I guess that's why you're a pro. Sincerely, Mary (Report) Reply

  • (1/15/2006 11:21:00 AM)

    This is great fun to read. The twinkle in my eyes kept getting in my way of the lines and at last I had a great laugh. This is a great way to 'get even.'

    (Report) Reply

  • (1/15/2006 10:29:00 AM)

    enjoyed it. kept wondering throughout the poem how long you were going to maintain that tone, if you could resist the temptation to stray, and finally you did in the very last lines. (Report) Reply

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Poem Submitted: Sunday, January 15, 2006

Poem Edited: Saturday, July 15, 2006

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