The Drinker’s Fallacy

Pub where Poet John Berryman (C) is talking to other customers. (Photo by Terrence Spencer/The LIFE Picture Collection/Getty Images)

I might need to apologise in the morning, but…


Is this a poem? –


I stood in my kitchen staring at the floor,

so many gatherings happened here,

and now I am hungry

and the kitchen is empty.


Or just a sentence that has fallen down a stair case? Splitting a sentence up over several lines does not make a poem.

The above is original but it is an example of a lot of stuff that is out there at the moment. It is why I have failed to enjoy poetry when I have tried. I have, for some unknown reason to myself (as I am a novelist at heart), started writing the stuff. I don’t think poetry needs to sit in the romantic teenage angst corner of the literary world, but it is hard for the stoic amongst us to find our way in. I love words, and I think poetry is well suited to them, but the above is just a pointless cop-out.

There is a satisfying cadence to the English language that can be showcased with poetry. Breaking up sentences and pretending it is art is an insult to that. Write better.