Poetry Vexes Me

Evading escaping avoiding
easy definition.
Is it simply fad that names what is poetic?
Would “The Sonnets from the Portuguese,” written today
be dismissed as
Would Donne’s “A Valediction Forbidding Mourning”
be rejected as
How does
a grocery list
become poetry?
Who decides?
Does battle-sweat and whale-road
count no more
than a bronze helmet?
Is Bobby Burns nae good,
Too, too twee
for a world of steel and silicone?
Yet has humanity changed?
Horton may hear his who,
but is alliteration allowed
only to
child or churl?
And what of Kipling, bigoted old sod,
whose Ifs still stir
unfashionable patriot heart?
Is it because The Canon is spiked, and though I cheered,
I still wish to speak with the voice of white male privilege,
a legacy of latter day good education,
while listening to those denied such fortune?
Are my questions a poem,
Or merely questions?
I wish I knew.

Evaluating and editing poetry is a challenge when it’s someone else’s. When it is mine, as this is, it’s virtually impossible. I used sentence-style headlines for this piece; it made more sense to me in this context.

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