Aug 7, 2015

A Poet’s Guide to Answering Awkward Questions and Comments:

1.       How much do you get paid?
“Not as much as I deserve.”

2.       I’m a mechanic, and I think it’d be fun to do what you do.
“Tell you what. You let me do your next brake job and you can write my next villanelle. Deal?”

3.       Have any free books you can give to me?
“For $12 each, you can have all the ‘free’ books you want.”

4.       Will you read my manuscript?
“No. But you can attend some public workshops, where you can receive feedback on your work. There are excellent instructors who get paid to instruct writers. And I can direct you to some open mics where you can read your works and get instantaneous reaction.”

4a.  But I’m not ready to show/read my work to a stranger.
“You’re right. You’re not ready.”

5.       I find it difficult to read poetry, but I like the way you read it.
“Thank you.” 

6.    I had an interesting idea the other day that I think would make a great poem.
“You might be right. I’d like to hear it when you’ve finished it.”

7.    It must be nice to just sit around and jot whatever comes to mind.
"Yes, it would be. I’d like to be able to do that someday.”

8.    How come your poems don't rhyme? It ain't poetry unless it rhymes.
"I do use rhyme, though often not at the end of lines. But that's beside the point. Rhyme is just one tool that a poet uses. Please read the King James version of Psalm 23, one of the best-known poems of the English language. It does not rhyme." 

9.    I must sympathize with you. Your poetry describes some horrendous events in the lives of your family and yourself.
"Please don't confuse the narrator of the poem with the poet. Though at times, I do draw upon life experiences, ultimately, I try to create the best poem that I can. 
The poem is not necessarily biographical. "

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