Oskar Hansen

Letter To A Young Poet - Poem by Oskar Hansen

Dear Raman, so you want me to read your poem and state my opinion.
Well, you are fond of words and you are stacking them up in your poem.
That is a good thing; clearly you are a man who reads a lot.
So you want to be a poet, poetry is self indulgent’ it never starts a war
nor finished it. Should a poet write something that resonance with,
the sentiment of a nation, you can be sure it will be used by politicians
and interpreted for their dubious plans.

So why don’t you become an engineer or failing that, a cook. The world
doesn’t need, anymore academic poets who forever repeat what poets
of yore have said. For the people a poet is regarded as a figure of fun
who spends valuable time putting useless words together to make sense
of a world they don’t understand. As my father said when I published
my first poem: “How much did they pay you? ” So if my words have not
scared you off you’re a poet. All you need is intellectual honesty.

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Poem Submitted: Friday, January 29, 2010

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