Herbert Nehrlich

Rookie (04 October 1943 / Germany)

Nikhilism - Poem by Herbert Nehrlich

I have just read a thousand works
of the new poet on this site.
And must admit that it now irks
me to report with what I might
describe in private as point blunt,
in public though as honesty.
This place is where a man can hunt
for various kinds of poetry.

I think this calls for moderation
in criticising what is posted,
not all of us will feel elation
that's why this man is being roasted.
And one loud critic has the gall
to tell an Indian fellow here
to keep his culture, background, all
away from us, well listen dear,
it is a fact that a man's culture
impacts him like his mothers milk,
which does not mean that any vulture
who finds the work not smooth as silk
can shoot his cannon off at will
as if he were the critic's critic.
We'd all look smarter keeping still
instead of waxing analytic.

I have a precious Indian friend
retired chancellor, no less,
we keep in touch and often send
each other stories from the press,
and tidbits of the latest science
and life as it unfolds at home,
we even form a small alliance
against the Codex now, in Rome,
which sweeps the world, creating stress.
In short it is fruitful exchange
and, lest I babble and digress,
I have observed that Indians range
from stoic to the histrionic,
they use a language full of flowers
which, to myself can be a tonic,
at times when tasks wipe out the hours
their speech is pleasant, often soothing,
and full of adjectives at that
as if they want to bring a smoothing
and healing influence to flat
and bland communication.
So what we read here signed Nikhil
is xeno-floral re-creation,
perhaps we need to think and feel
how to appreciate his lines,
or if we really are so narrow
to stick with only certain wines,
at least we could keep that mean arrow
inside the quiver and unfired.
And as for me, this Nikhilism
which is, by some, truly admired
it beats the ghost of dadaism.

Comments about Nikhilism by Herbert Nehrlich

  • (6/10/2005 3:27:00 AM)

    Thanks both.
    Nikhil I agree it is sad that there is this element of what I call 'begrudgment' floating around and when someone succeeds people don't seem to want to celebrate. In Australia it is called to pull a tall poppy down.
    I agree that the rating of the poets has very little if anything to do with the number posted, it is a reflection of the interest of readers who read your poetry, like it and tell others, who read it, like it and tell others.
    I have been floating around and currently am just a bit above 100 I think, that is good enough for me. After all, poetry is not what some contrived expert thinks it is but what those who poetry is ultimately written for get out of it.

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  • (6/10/2005 1:11:00 AM)


    That was a very nice thing to do and I feel very guilty for not being more open minded about the mass posters work. However, I still find it very annoying that so many poems are posted at once. Especially given the way that PH is set up with all the scrolling etc. and etc. But your poem is excellent non the less.


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Poem Submitted: Thursday, June 9, 2005

Poem Edited: Thursday, June 9, 2005

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