Time and time again, I’ve heard comments like ‘such an image is so lovely, it’s poetry’. Every time such a phrase has made its way to my everyday life I wondered, does that mean poetry is solely pleasant?
During some reading, I was introduced to ‘Anti-poetry’. It’s basically poetry that doesn’t pinpoint only ‘happy go lucky-rays of sunshine’ emotions that are usually associated with poetry. My favorite poet, William Shakespeare, wrote a poem called “Winter” which is a stellar example of anti-poetry. Instead of writing metaphors and similes about the fluffy snow and the cool breeze, he writes about freezing milk and raw red noses. The poem is unique because it’s a different take on a subject, I’m sure, tons of poets write about such as Francis Osgood in “Winter Fairyland in Vermont”. Shakespeare’s adjective aren’t the kind laced with enthusiasm and cheer, there are more so gritty and more realistic. It brings more authenticity to the poem and gives it more meaning to the reader. He doesn’t focus on solely the negative but straddles the medium. Just as Walt Whitman in his piece called “Beauty. Whitman makes comparisons between the young and fruitful and the worn. Yet, he consistently chooses the worn subject. He finds beauty in the experienced objects and people such as the father, mother of many children and the rag adhering to the staff. I feel as if he’s finding beauty in what tends to others and does the dirty jobs.
When poetry comes to mind, people often accept only the pleasant ideas as a general idea of what poetry is. The gritty styles of poetry are usually overlooked. Depicting reality without using solely adjectives that portray happy emotions is more realistic to the reader, though depicting reality while using solely negative adjectives does not give the reader a realistic image of the subject. To be a great poet, I personally feel, it’s imperative to master the skill. No great poet is remembered for painting a picture too bright or too dark to believe, well I sure don’t remember them.