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Dead Poets

Sometimes you may read a poem that makes you smile, laugh or cry. Some poems will perhaps make you ponder at the wonderful way our language can bring abstract ideas to life, or give depth to social issues.

Sometimes you will just enjoy the flow, rhythm, rhyme of the whole thing as you let it wash over you.

There’s plenty of poetry out there to discover. I am not a great reader of dead poets. I am quite ignorant of many of them. I should read more. But I want to read poetry that moves me – for any of the reasons above – smile laugh cry etc.

If I have to read it several times and still can’t see the rhythm (I can manage without the rhyme) or the message it conveys, then I am quick to dismiss it. If I have to get to know the life story of the poet to understand his poems, then the poet should have said so beforehand. That may sound shallow. Maybe it’s just because I have had a difficult time recently understanding the verse of an acclaimed poet, and I think he’s erm.. not that great. There are too many people spending far too long analysing the poetry of dead poets. And it’s too late.

I hope you find my poems fit at least one of many criteria that you can connect with and enjoy. If not, it could be that I have travelled down that path of telling my life story in such a cryptic fashion that it makes no sense to you. And of course, poets are all extremely egocentric so it’s an easy trap to fall into. But just for the record, I write poetry because I enjoy the sound of the words, not to baffle readers after I am dead. (My ego obviously thinks I will be famous. I have moderate doubt). Here’s a new poem.

Posthumous Glee

Try this little nonsense rhyme
It might mean something to you, sometime
Decipher phrases, words on screen
And you decide what it may mean.

When posthumously I am famed
This poem will become acclaimed
As one of worth for generations
To be read in schools ’cross twenty nations

If it was some treasured tome
How hurt I’d be, if you then seek
To change it’s meaning as you roam
Through words you think I meant to speak

Then I would shift, my ashes spent
And rise again in sore lament
That you can violate my worth
But think you’ve given second birth!

There never was a secret code
Alas! there was no treasure
What you see is what you get
It’s just an ode for selfish pleasure

To see you squirm for hour
on hour as professors tell you their
opinion of what I meant, but didn’t say
And how my life reflects what isn’t there

Poetic justice has it’s place
And I achieve the perfect crime
To see the flushing of your face
For just a nonsense rhyme

Amanda Samm 2020

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