The Poet's Fear of Criticism

He said he'd written
Some great poetry;
But wasn't going
To show it to me.


A dead poet

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Poem Study Notes:


This short poem was written in 2002 after a chat with another poet who had been talking about his reluctance to post his work on the internet, fearing embarrassment, criticism and general abuse.

My personal opinion on the matter is that poems, like farts, are "better out than in".

If it's a sweet-swelling fart / half-decent poem, then you need to share and take a chance to improve the lives of others, while if it's some foul concotion / really not very good at all poem, then equally you need to let it out so that it doesn't swill around inside you for all eternity and twist up your insides.

Of course there's yet another way of looking at it, which is "Who cares?" After all, nobody reads poetry do they? Unless it's their own, or on greetings cards anyway ...