You know, sometimes I just go nuts trying to understand a poem. This isn't because all poetry is nonsense. Actually, there's a lot of good stuff out there that does what a poem should do - powerfully and succinctly evoke a theme, idea, or image. That's what makes poetry art.
Unfortunately, it seems that a lot of poetry out there, including published poetry, is an exercise in pretension, an effort to achieve incomprehensibility in the name of so-called "complexity". If the author is so complex and prolix that he or she cannot be understood, then the work must be good.
Is this take on poetry too cynical, or is it accurate? In order to test my hypothesis, I've made use of some spiffy modern technology on the Internet. Rob's Amazing Poetry Generator takes any web page and converts it into a "poem" through random reassignment of phrases and the arrangement of them into separate lines. The Heretical Rhyme Generator asks you to put in the first line of a stanza, and then generates the rest for you.
So here's the plan: I've generated some "poetry" from these two generators. Now and then I've divided long lines into separate lines for aesthetic reasons, and I've given each poem a title, but that's the extent of my meddling. There's no meaning to these verses since they're randomly generated by a computer, but will a poetry journal accept them? If so, what comments might they provide? Let's wait and find out...I'll be sure to keep you up to date.
Mendel's Serenade [Heretical Rhyme Generator]
I ask myself, why try?
Since in this life there is no safe bet
eggs are hard to fry fry fry
But when we walk under the sun, the rain isn't falling -- yet.
I ask myself, why sing?
And you think this is all very long
Surely the second coming is at hand. The second coming!
careful, dawn is never me
You really are truly in an
The week felt sorry for an hour straight,
but, reading this appearance,
you come exactly into your future.
If you feel the guidance of your cat
you must not feel very familiar
to your new veterinarian neighbor,
what is that
you feel the part
in the Debbie Gibson
Shake your research.
Irregular Times require talking back.
Give us your Irregular Retorts!