Do not give that poet licence to print.
Trust him with nothing more than a bent quill.
Give him no room to manoeuvre, no hint
of suggestion; no modicum of thrill;
nothing to spill upon a naked page.
Just for his own amusement, he’ll distort
an innocent phrase; blatantly upstage
the messenger with elevated haught.
He’ll brazenly award himself credit
beyond his due; without hesitation,
he’ll tag himself as first to have said it…
Man of Words … with big imagination.
. This ‘Man of Words’ is just a dictionary,
. just a parrot, well-skilled at mimicry.
© Tim Grace, 23 November 2014
To the reader: It’s not words that commit the crime; it’s the choice of those words in combination with intent to harm or damage reputation. And so, the shady area of exploitation is encircled by interpretation. The cunning ‘poet’ will cleverly disguise his ambiguous message with layers of obfuscated connotation. Using every trick in the book, he’ll burden the reader with responsibility for word association.
To the poet: The parrot might be able to argue his words should not be taken literally. But, as a poet, you do have to take responsibility for the syntax and semantics of your artistic expression. Your deliberate acts of subtle word-play can cause a mischief that requires remediation; or at least, explanation. Blaming the reader for his/her sensitive interpretation is hardly the act of a chivalrous sonneteer.
What to make of those with humourless wit,
of those who frown, those who grumble and growl;
of those who bemoan joy; awkwardly sit
upon a light-hearted jest with a scowl?
What to make of those who by nature rile
against the frivolous; heavily mark
the wistful as trite and in sombre style
dismiss the chortle as an errant lark?
What to make of those with dark demeanour,
those who do nothing but darken the sky,
casting shadows on polished patina;
those who take a dim view of all they spy?
. These are they who chain good-fun to a cage,
. and for laughter’s sake, will a smirk engage.
© Tim Grace, 17 March 2013
To the reader: Some adults unlearn everything they once knew about fun and laughter; they become morose and sullen. No doubt they have good-reason for such stern reproach of light-hearted follies. Chronic absence of a smile response robs these grumpy souls of the happiness surge delivered by endorphins and triggered by something as simple as a genuine smile. The health benefits of smiling are impressive; so too the social impact of this friendly gesture.
To the poet: We can take the pursuit of happiness too seriously; drain it of fun and become disheartened. Writing a sonnet can suffer the same chain of events. In its original form this sonnet had an unintelligible middle stanza that was lost in its own search for meaning. The ‘editorial rescue’ ripped out the guts and inserted a verse. The final structure of three verses and a chorus brings me no great joy!