What We Expect Of The Poet (2015-07-09)
So, yes, poems are very demanding of the reader, but the reader has a right to expect that meeting these demands will be rewarded. The poet has a responsibility to justify making these demands. Unfortunately, too many things pose as poems—or are mistakenly assumed to be poems.
One can’t assume that because something is labeled a poem, it is in fact a poem. And only too often the poet has neglected some critical feature of a good poem.
Maybe because I’m a poet I am hypercritical of what I expect of a poem. But I’ve taught (really an impossible task) ‘creative writing’, and I can say that most would-be poets are too quick to label what they wrought as a poem.