Terrible Poem Breakdown: “good poem”

The Terrible Poem Breakdown series analyzes poems that are just not making it. We do this with the best intentions but pull no punches. Previous entries in our series can be found at the bottom of each post.

As always, the only rules are that the poems cannot be intentionally bad and the poet must be completely willing to submit to the analysis. I’m not qualified to judge poems for their formal qualities or even their poetic merit. I offer only the opinion of a willing reader and honest opinion provider.

Off we go!

good poem

no puns
no double meanings
no tricks
nothing clever
just thoughts
and you
and nothing else

Okay, first of all, there are some strong signs of pretentiousness here.

1) A poem about a poem and/or about the writing of poetry. That’s strike one.

2) A poem with all lower-case letters, including the title. Strike two!

Except…maybe we can justify the lower-case letters in this case. It is an attempt to be modest and humble, which suits the rest of the poem. And there are no annoying jolts for the reader, as would occur if the words were obviously supposed to be capitalized. Like “ronald reagan was my president” or something.

And let’s give the poet some kudos: the humility here really is strong. In fact, that’s the best part. I think the themes of the poem rather suit me, in fact. Don’t we want poems with no tricks? Nothing too clever! Conveying thoughts, communing with the reader–these are things I like!

In fact, the more I look at it, the more this poem is growing on me. It slides down easy. So…two strikes but not three. The batter stays in the box. Not quite a home run, but maybe hit by a pitch. Take your base, poet! Good luck to you!

As always, my thanks etc. for being a good sport etc. etc. etc.

Previous Terrible Poem Breakdowns:


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