Wednesday, 4 November 2009



I found this heading on a blogpost the other day and I realised how many different kinds of bloggers there are and how different our preferred reading matter is. Now, anyone who has read this blog before knows that I love poetry, it is a totally natural part of my life. I read poetry, discuss poetry in a poetry group and generally find it life-enhancing. I search out other lovers of poetry in blogland who introduce me to poets and poems hitherto unknown to me and I am grateful that they should take the time do so.

Certainly, the phrase “not another bloody poem” smacked me right between the eyes.

But there are blogs and blogposts which leave me yawning, irritated and even annoyed.

“Hi, it’s me again; a bunch of us went to the cinema/pictures and we saw xyz which was good/bad/indifferent. We had popcorn and ice cream and laughed a lot”.

Unless one of you choked on the popcorn, dripped ice cream down somebody’s collar or you were evicted for lewd behaviour, I don’t want to know.

“Freddie had football/soccer practice and he fell over in the mud and he was sooo muddy and I had to wash piles of muddy clothes. Kids, eh?”

Unless Freddy ran on his hands and headed three goals into the back of the net  or choked in the mud, I don’t want to know.

“Hubby was sooo cross when he came home from work because  traffic round the gyratory system was really awful and he was late for his favourite soap”.

No accident, didn’t write off the car, didn’t have sex with his secretary in the back of the car? Don’t tell me.

Right, all together now: YOU DON’T HAVE TO READ THIS. Of course, I don’t.
But you, the poetry hater, don’t have to read the poetry blog either.

To end on a literary note, here's what Thomas Babington Macaulay (1800-1859) had to say on the subject

Perhaps no person can be a poet, or can even enjoy poetry,
without a certain unsoundness of mind.

and that, friends, is good enough for me.


  1. not a poetry fan, something to do perhaps with having to the vision of judgement at school, l do like the listeners by walter de la mare and agree there are blogs and there are blogs.

  2. Hi Friko

    I do enjoy poetry and I can get really enthusiastic about it. When the BBC ran the 'poetry season' earlier this year, I don't think I missed a programme. I have 'Penguin's Poems For Life' next to me on my desk as I write this, but how often do I open it? Not as often as I should.

  3. Love this blog Friko!!! I like some poetry and some just goes straight over my head - being a bear of little brain. Nevertheless, I like to be open minded and love glimpses into what makes other folk tick. Its a great opportunity to learn something I didn't already know or to enjoy something I wouldn't otherwise have seen. So blog on Friko with as much poetry as you like - I for one will be reading it!!

  4. Well said Friko. I'm with you on this one!

    I had (yes 'had') a friend who was brilliant - a professor - author - Ph.D., but when she told me she just didn't 'get' poetry I was astounded. I could not fathom how a person with such a cultured background and education could not 'get' poetry. But she didn't - and perhaps it was less a function of choice than of how her brain worked.

    I think you have to have a certain 'right brain'
    facility to appreciate the cadence, music, mystery, metaphors and beauty of poetry. So I wonder if those who say they don't like it (or get it) are crippled by living only in their left, analytical brain.

    Poetry, I believe, offers access to something deep and rich. It creates an opening into another part of world and self - brimming with possibilities.

    Carry on, Friko!

  5. I'm like Twiglet when it comes to Rhyme,
    I'd read it if only I have the time,
    The blogs they vary and so should it be,
    If you want a ditty then there is me. :-)

    As Twiglet would say I'm no poet but I love to make folk smile. You keep blogging Friko and we will keep reading it. You have real talent when it comes to writing. A x

  6. Feel Free to Read

    Friend of mine.
    Likes your site.
    Will probably be invading soon.

  7. It's rather like art, there's so much pretentious snobbery spun around it, it can put people off. Some poetry I love, some I can't be bothered with and some will make me chuckle, but I get so angry if something is dissed because it isn't highbrow enough. If it speaks to someone it's successful, rather like art. We don't need critics to tell us what we should or should not like, it's all a question of personal taste.
    I do find a good poetry book essential loo reading. Thom Gunn and Ted Hughes are the men of choice at the moment.

  8. You're right Fred, as so often. Like art, it either strikes a chord. Or not.
    Thank goodness we all like different things.
    I'm dipping into Edna St Vincent Millais at the moment..

  9. Yeah, and guess what? It's nanu nanu month (or NoNo, or whatever they call it) when aaaalllll of our lovely fiction-writing friends are furiously pounding out their 50,000 word novels, and every post, every tweet, every update is some variant of: 'wrote 3,000 words today; boy could use a cup of coffee!' It's a good thing I love writers because we're only four days into this thing and already I'm sick of it.

  10. Well, this is certainly another bloody good post! But then, I'd expect nothing less from one such as yourself...
    Perhaps Blogland should have seperate sections: one for meme addicts (cf. Rabbits Relations: one for social-butterflies-of-little-brain (cf. Pooh Bear): one for moaners (cf. Eyore): one for timid beginners (cf. Piglet) and one for wise old birds (cf. Owl). Those who wander happily through the forests of Blogland regardless, are probably the Christopher Robin types, who have not yet gone to school to learn discernment. :)

  11. I am not a big poetry buff but I do enjoy some, but I love this blog. You spoke your love for poetry very well and that is what you should do. I enjoy your blog because you say what you think..Me to and I hear about it once in a while but if you have something on your mind, say it like you just did. Bravo

  12. Can I say, too frikking right Friko. As someone who sometimes dares to put up her own doggeral I say if you get a whiff of rhyme and you don't like it-click off.

  13. I am a poetry lover too. Each very much to their own. There are so many blogs out there I pick and choose those which speak to me, such as yours!

  14. I agree with everything you say. I just wish I hadn't just written a blog which is basically, 'Here are some DVDs I watched this week'. Whoops.

  15. Hi Friko! What I like about your blog is the variety. You will have a poem, usually accompanied with an image which perfectly portrays the feeling of the poem, or the scraper's diary, which is beautifully written and describes a bygone era, or the pillow book of the Japanese lady, with another bird's eye view of a bygone era, or you show the beautiful gardens and life you have in the shires. Sometimes you muse about one aspect or another of the human condition. Therefore, Friko, I love your blog and always look forward to what's next! Thank you! xxox

  16. I don't think one has to love poetry to appreciate it. I don't think one has to even understand it. Much like math, I think. I can appreciate that there is beauty in numbers, love the concrete expression of mathematical genius in engineering etc although I don't understand. Some poetry enthralls and some leaves me cold - and I suspect it has just as much to do with my state of mind at the time of reading, as it does about the subject/quality/length/ type of poem.

  17. Hi Friko~ In case you missed Bonnie at Original Art Studio today, you should stop by: she's mentioned you in reference to people who appreciate poetry. She found the perfect verse that matched your post, so go see! xxox

  18. Sometimes I write poems when I am depressed. What does that say. I never think to write them when I feel happy. Hum

  19. What a great blog! You spoke right to me.

    I think what you say applies to all areas of life: 'I don't understand it therefore I don't like it and I'm not going to try.' I feel that way about cooking, if I'm honest.

  20. Poetry is an art and art if equivalent to God.Those who don't respect the are don't respect the God even.Let them be.One should be honest.I always appreciate your words.Keep up the good work..Unseen Rajasthan

  21. Fred said it all for me. I love art, but there are some paintings that leave me cold. The same holds true for poetry. Some of it is just too cerebral for me and I don't understand what the poet is trying to say.

  22. I couldn't agree more. I actually held off coming into blogland for fear of having to read - or worse, having to write - the kinds of yawn-posts you have described. In my early days, I followed what looked at first to be a really interesting blog but, as the days went on, it just become a constant moad about how the blogger's life sucked, so I gave it up as a bad job. I like to think of posts as sort of newspaper columns: they should be more or less complete in themselves and have some kind of point to them. Glad we're of similar mind. Hoping the potrey bus will be back around soon so I can get to writing another bloody poem.

  23. Ah Friko, This post provoked some thoughts since I read it. I have corralled a few of them over at my place, although not all, it would be too long.
    A thought for a future discussion, that I would enjoy sharing, would be that it is possible that people who learn languages are more likely to enjoy poetry. The struggle to read between the lines and understand more readily can be applied to many venues, once ingrained.

  24. "Poesie ist die Muttersprache des menschlichen Geschlechts."

    Was für ein Glück, einen Menschen wie dich kennen zu dürfen.

  25. Suppose you substitute the word prose for the word poetry. Could anyone say, "I don't like prose."? I think it makes no sense to not like all poetry, just as it makes no sense to like all poetry. I like some poetry, not other poetry. Some I know is great poetry but is over my head, some is not so great but is still over my head. I am not expert enough to know the difference, so I defer to those who know more than I do. I am willing to read a poem 3 times. If I can't figure out after the 3rd time what it is saying I give up. I do think it is a flaw if a reasonably intelligent person can't understand on the 3rd reading.

  26. ahahahahahahahahahhahahahahahahahahaha!!... ahh, I have this debate with the ronald all the time (other half). He doesn't 'get' poetry... I have to explain that songs, if you take the music away is poetry. Bob dylan (ronalds favourite) isn't a poet?.... hours and hours and hours... :-)

  27. another post that seems to have touched a nerve. thank you kindly, all of you, it looks like my blogging buddies are, on the whole, receptive to poetry.

    I agree with those who say that not all poetry appeals equally to all poetry readers (personally, I find Wordsworth much over-rated, often too pompous and up himself); and yes, sometimes you just don't get what the poet is saying (perhaps that poet is so obtuse and dense that you feel he has nothing much to say but says it at length) and yes, after three readings you just give up.

    as for boring blogs, I daresay we've all written some of those (but as you are all my friends I wouldn't dare say so in public), but the self-important, self-reverential tosh, the up-itself blog (I do like that phrase) soon runs out of readers except close family and friends, but even they surely do their gushing and fawning under duress.

    Perhaps, I'll simply repeat what I said at the beginning of the post: there are many different bloggers with different tastes and preferences and priorities; long may we all enjoy using this wonderful tool!

  28. Your end reply did make me laugh, Friko - shades of Dad's Army, 'They don't like it up 'em, Mr Mannering, they don't like it up 'em!'

  29. Well today I had seventeen cups of tomato juice, I then went to the pharmacy to fetch some cream for a nasty rash I have in my most intimate of areas, then I took a nap, then....oh darn. I thought you said you liked it when people wrote boring tidbits about their lives. Sorry.

    I like poetry.

  30. wow, 32 comments...did you hit a nerve!!!

  31. It's the darndest thing. I read this post and enjoyed it fully and was sure I left a comment telling you that!

    Poetry has always been and will always be a mainstay in my life.

  32. Ah, finally, success, dear Friko: You found the weirdness over on Lane Savant's blog, and it appears that you have found the "poetry" over on my site, Feel Free to Read
    Actually weirdness, as in non-conformity and quality rants, is what has attracted me to you site. I have already been reposting some of your writing, which I really dig. Thank you for the kindness of answering my email query, and visiting my blog. There are already over 5,000 postings on it. I am sure you will find something new and stimulating there. I am slowly building a cyber community of poet friends, who are constantly turning me on to new poets, and then that leads to newer poets, many deceased but still fresh to me. I have posted hundreds of my own poems, and over 100 movie reviews, and several dozen pictorials entries on all subjects dear to me. I approach retirement next June with unbridled enthusiasm. Remember the line in Jeff Bridges' film, ALL AMERICAN HERO, when his father says, "Remember, son, damn foolishness for some people is the breath of life for the rest of us!" Promote poetry today, whether somebody gets it or not. Just being exposed to it, something enlightenment can come from osmosis or simple reinforcement.


  33. Found my way over here via Cuban and English Rider and am glad I did. What you describe here is the main reason I didn't take up blogging until recently, thinking that trivia and drivel was what made the blogging world go 'round. How wrong I was. I am delighted to have discovered erudite, witty, interesting and enlightening bits of writing and am only sorry I missed out for so long.

    I'll be back to visit!


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