#100poeticanswers 50: What Is A Poem?

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May 2, 2017 by Sez

Halfway through! Time for a metapoem! Indy asked this question, and comes from a particularly legocentric family.

Think of words as Lego bricks.

And English lessons as instructions 

Tell you where and what to click

Together, minimal disruption

If you follow all the rules

You can write a thing called prose

Use the recommended tools

To build what everybody knows 

Is right. Is writing. All to plan

Just like the picture on the packet

But with poetry you can

Ignore the rules. Make new ones. Hack it.

If you want, you make it rhyme

Or choose your words to form a rhythm

But it’s your choice every time

Nothing has to be a given.

you don’t need to do the things

that your teacher would insist on

just make sure your poem sings,

touches hearts, confronts the system.

So, a poet must be wise:

Following the rules is easy 

But to have to improvise 

Does make many people queasy

Can you take a lego set

With plans and pictures, so you know it

Makes a house, but build a jet?

Congratulations. You’re a poet.


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