I have the good fortune of having been accepted as a member of the South Florida Writers Association. This is an organization that meets monthly to discuss what each of them has done as far as writing books, poetry, or whatever.
During our last meeting, the speaker spoke primarily about poetry, something I admittedly know relatively nothing about other than the fact that words are supposed to sound like other words at the end of a sentence. Sounds easy huh?
Well to some people I’m sure it is, but to dummies like me it is a very strange world. Firstly, there are at least 20 or 30 types of poetry including some that I doubt you have ever heard of. Try Canzone, Tanka, Senru, or Dactyl to name just a few. And then there is Haiku, a form of poetry originating in Japan that does not require any rhyming whatsoever but must have certain size words, paragraphs, etc., and seems to be very popular despite the fact that I have no idea what it is.
I decided to ask one of the more learned members of our organization how I could learn to write in haiku. He took one of my writings and suggested that I eliminate 75 percent of the words in the first paragraph. Okay, that was easy but his next bit of advice was to simply call it Haiku. Of course no one could argue with me and this of course made me a Haiku poet. Lucky me.
I don’t intend to belittle poetry but I actually grew up thinking that the whole idea of it was to make words match at the end of the sentence. Apparently that no longer holds true and, if you are of a high enough intellectual background, you can pretty much do whatever you want and call it poetry.
Don’t believe me? Go to my favorite source for information, Google. Look up different types of poems and you will see a list of at least 28 types of poetry, most of which I guarantee you have never heard of. Try Petrarchan for a start. This was the method used by William Wordsworth. Remember him? I did understand one of the types listed as Cacophony, used by the famous Hart Crane. You all remember him!
I won’t add too many more because I’m sure by now you are well aware of my ignorance, but who knows at the rate that I am going I could someday become a Poet Laureate. I really have no idea what that is but it sure would sound good when I was being introduced to a new group. I for one would really be impressed.
Our guest speaker at our last gathering was a gentleman named Lenny Della Rocca who heads an organization to which many poets send their work with the hope of being published in a journal for poets. Mr. Della Rocca is a published poet himself and was able to read from one of his recent books on poetry, something that he originated. Frankly, it sounded beautiful but nothing rhymed and I had trouble seeing the exceptional value of this particular type of writing.
Try this: Mary had a little lamb, little lamb, little lamb, Mary had a little lamb whose fleece was white as snow. Everywhere that mary went, mary went, mary went, everywhere that mary went the lamb was able to find her using the gps in her iphone.
Now that is poetry!
Perhaps I am not quite up to the level of our other members being that the only letters that I have after my name are Ret. I guess my doctorate will have to wait but maybe when I have it I will become one of the boys or girls. Can you just imagine reading an ad in the newspaper offering poems by Dr. Sochin that mean absolutely nothing to anyone but they are written in a firm Terza rima format, one of the accepted forms of poetry.
Buy your tickets now because they will promise to sell out quickly. I expect many people will be calling me if they can get through all the other callers offering me lower interest rates and pills to cure just about anything I might have. Stay tuned!