However, when it comes to contemporary poetry, understanding does not seem to be a key requirement. Therefore, I, ask, for whom are poets writing? I read winning poetry all the time and it is so deeply disguised in ambiguous meanings and metaphors that in reality the effort becomes only to decipher instead of soothe, entertain or enlighten.
Not that I am passing judgment, for to each their own, but in all honesty I prefer clarity instead of fog, because traveling in the mist always leaves things unseen or blurry, imagination running wild, as you weave through words that may not even be found in a dictionary.
I say this because although I write poetry as a means of expressing hopes and desires hurts and struggles, experiences and observations, I am not too fond of reading most of the poetry written today because there is no clarity and often, seemingly, no meaning beyond the words.
Could this be why poetry is a hard sell? When I mention to people that I write poetry, the comments I frequently get are on the negative side, with the main reason given being its incomprehensibility. I can only tell them that I understand how they feel but that I write with clarity, blending prose with poetry. So give me a try!
Often, beauty is obscured in the flow as minds scramble to understand the meaning hidden behind grandiose words with ambiguous meanings. Is it just to show a level of education/class that is supposedly beyond the mental capacity of the masses? For I have heard it said before: understanding is almost never accomplished. Is that why the community of poets and their readers is relatively small?
Is the aesthetic more important than the meaning? If people get nothing back beyond words, was the reading worthy of the time spent stumbling through them. It has even gotten to the point of poets using made-up words simply by fusing one word with another – how, then, can an audience decipher meaning when “feeling” nothing as the poem is read?
These are the questions that plague my imagination as I attempt, on some level, to conform. But in the end I consistently move towards clarity, meaning and rhyme because my goal is to enlighten and not confound. I am just trying to reach clarity in the mission of poetry, and sometimes adjusting my sails in order to attain my destination. Can anyone clarify poetry for me?