7 things you should know about being a poet

This was too funny to not share; from About.com:

7 Things You Should Know About Being a Poet: A List of Lists

My favorite so far (haven’t had time to read them all yet) is Michael Wells’ 3rd point:

Wells wrote:
People will think you are moody because you are a poet. This is not so. Even people who cannot write a single line of poetry can be moody anytime prior to their death.

So, here’s my list, after not much thought at all:

  • Writing poems will not solve your mental problems. On the contrary, it exacerbates the situation because people no longer doubt your insanity when they find out that you are a poet. This, in turn, makes you crazy because you have studied verse for over twenty years and it’s all for nothing.
  • Writing poetry can’t be used as an acceptable tax-deduction for all the paper you buy and throw in the trash. You’ve just got to bite the cost.
  • Lines in poems have a tendency to reproduce when you turn your back. Just when you thought you’d got the sucker down to ten lines it morphs into a sonnet. A bad sonnet.
  • Poems have a tendency to hide during April, napowrimo month, especially if you blog about them. Nothing you do will coax the damn things back out, except writing terrible limericks. Use this power wisely.
  • When people find out you write poems, they often want you to write something for their grandmother’s funeral. Resist the urge. Some great-uncle is always offended if the thing rhymes, and some other great-aunt is offended if it doesn’t. Quote from Dylan Thomas instead (“Do Not Go Gentle” is an amusing choice).
  • You will find your moral compass grows skewed when you’ve written poems long enough because you come to realize that most of your lines are stolen from something you read ten years ago. Of course, you can never recall the exact text. This also makes you crazy.
  • Finally, your ability to tell an iamb from a spondee will not get you free coffee, even if you quote from Shakespeare and perform the death scene from Romeo and Juliet while in line at the bookstore. Most people will assume you are homeless and try to get you thrown out.

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    8 thoughts on “7 things you should know about being a poet

    1. Actually, in New Zealand it is perfectly acceptable to take a tax deduction on the paper you throw in the bin, if you claim to be a self-employed writer. (You then have to pay tax on your earnings, of course, but we all know poets never earn anything).

    2. Chrissie,These are making my brain jump up and down, I very much enjoyed the lines about mental helath, mine is always in question. I like the idea of admiting up front you are a poet, I am thinking that if everyone already thinks your crazy, its like a day pass!! Automatic admittance to the looney bin. Okay, I will stop. Very Cool Beans.:) brenda

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