I was listening to a radio story about poetry, something we all think we know a lot about. Well, my interpretation of the goal of poetry is to convey a complex story or feeling in as few syllables as possible. For you millennials, poetry is a type of constrained communication — just like Twitter.
Sure, meter and rhyme can matter as well, but it was the frugality of words that struck me. And, in a strange act for a non-poet, I came up with the following:
said my spouse,
who costs a lot.
Maybe not for you, but this conveys a complex relationship between two people in just 9 syllables. Even shorter than haiku. Is the poet a man or a woman (my wife insists I tell you it’s not me speaking)? Is the person quoted fearful or just fiscally conservative? Is the speaker’s view the truth or just a faulty perception? The poet, receiving this news, has an opinion about the speaker. But is “a lot” of cost = “too much” cost? Or is it the speaker’s hypocrisy that is at issue. For that matter, what exactly are the costs that the spouse incurs — purely monetary? What will happen next…
SO TRY IT! respond here with a 9 syllable poem. Need not rhyme. It does not need the 2-3-4 syllable structure of my lines. We can start a movement.