Writing poetry or not


I am working on real poetry, studying others and picking out the bones from the salmon of knowledge, searching for the path to success,


trying to write a poem with so much depth only

a deep sea diver with oxygen tanks will ever touch it,

to write a poem with so many lexical twists and

turns it loses itself in its own meanderings,

to write a poem clothed in so much obscurity

even I cannot see the words,

to change the marching line of words to

scramble order into chaos and call it poem.


Where the river runs, I still follow, along the banks, beneath the trees, not walking on the stream or tunnelling beneath where the gatherers of mystification lay their traps. Sky and water are poems, wordless and complete.

Published by

Jane Dougherty

I used to do lots of things I didn't much enjoy. Now I am officially a writer. It's what I always wanted to be.

88 thoughts on “Writing poetry or not”

    1. I read so much poetry that makes the very simple appear so complex that only a great intellect (like the poet’s) is capable of either understanding or having an opinion on it.

      1. I learnt English as a second language. By profession I am(or was) an engineer. From early childhood we were grilled not to write flowery English. However all poetry textbooks for English classes used to be full of poems that would require either the poet or a Nobel laureate to explain what the poet was trying to say. We the students were forced to explain some or other paragraphs to the best of our ability to pass the course, sometimes resulting in hilarious situations.

      2. Classic English poetry is often deliberately flowery (poetic). Modern English poetry is deliberately obscure. It sounds clever, but is clever writing phrases that mean nothing when you take them apart and have no obvious relationship with the phrase that follows or precedes?

      3. But poetry can be political(Political poetry has existed from the earliest times, including the Roman, Horace ( 65 BC – 8 BC).).
        Don’t forget Vaclav Havel.
        So you still have a chance to make an impact😊

      4. I lived in Paris for 14 years and went to hardly any of the tourist places. You can see the Eiffel Tower without having to touch it, same with Sacré Coeur, it’s not much inside and the quartier of Montmartre is a tourist trap. There are the flashy places like the Place Vendôme that are just flashy, same for the Champs Elysées. Notre Dame has burned down so that’s out. If I was going back, I’d start off at the Centre Pompidou because it’s a great place and it’s where I used to live (not in it of course) and I’d walk: along rue rambuteau rue des archives to the Marais, place des Vosges, Bastille, then over the river, ile saint-louis, ile de la Seine, to the Latin quarter, up to place Maubert, the Pantheon, back down to the bld saint-germain to the musée de Cluny to see the tapestries (it’s small so you can visit it without it taking all day) along bld saint-michel, back across the river to the quai de la mégisserie to the Louvre, see the pyramid at least, the jardins des tuileries, across to the palais royal and through the gardens, to a wine bar on rue des petits champs. I’d go down rue des rosiers, to the Picasso museum, to the jardins de luxembourg, along the canal saint-martin out to la vilette, visit les halles, rue montorgeuil, I’d visit buttes chaumont, the bld Haussmann, I’d visit the botanical gardens (rue buffon) and walk across all the bridges. I’d have an ice cream chez Bertillon on the ile saint louis, but I’d walk everywhere, just looking. I wouldn’t do the museums because you need to do them bit by bit and you can’t on a short visit. If I think of anything vital I’ve missed I’ll add to the list. But in Paris, you just walk and keep on walking. There’s always something to see, just don’t waste your time shopping 🙂

      5. Thanks Jane.
        No shopping for sure. We’ll, that’s for me. Hope I can keep my wife’s eyes from the shopping traps.
        What’s a good location to stay on a budget? This trip was impromptu, just booked the airlines tickets yesterday. Leaving on 16th morning.

      6. I really don’t know about hotels. I know Paris is very expensive and I’m guessing that you’d be best off in one of the chains like Ibis, Mercure or Libertel. They’re like hospitals and they’ll cost you around 80€ a night for a room (I don’t know if that’s in your budget) and they’re not in the city centre, but you know what you’re getting. Two of mine were in Paris a few weeks ago and they stayed in a small budget hotel and it was horrible.

      7. I am finding that out. I am looking between district 6 and district 9. If I was alone, I would have stayed in a hostel or bed and breakfast type place. Did that in Canada couple of years back. But my wife is not upto it. So accommodation will cost us😭

      8. It will, I’m afraid. I had four babies in the hotêl dieu maternity hospital right opposite the ile de la cité and notre dame. When i was in there with the last one, the painters and decorators had already moved in to transform it into a hotel. Tourism is big business.

      9. I am sure once I am there I would too, but I am not that much of a city boy (though I grew up in one and spent months in Indian metropolises).

      10. The wonderful thing about Paris is that it’s small. You can walk around most of it and it is full of different architecture from different epochs, and it’s very tidy and prosperous looking. Sure, no ordinary people can afford to live there now, but that’s what prosperity is in most of our societies, I suppose.

      11. That was my understanding. I enjoy walking. So I am looking forward to it.
        Alas, all big cities are driving away common people in the name of prosperity. I live in the suburbs but I won’t ever be able to buy a house here if I sell my house(which I may have to because of continuously rising property tax).

      12. Cities used to be mixed socially. It meant that the rich couldn’t claim to ignore how the poor lived, and the poor also saw how the rich lived. If the neighbourhood was kept clean for the rich, the poor profited too. The rich want the whole hog though, the entire neighbourhood and property developers are happy to deliver. The poor get shoved out to the suburbs with all that entails in travel time to work, the stress and the weariness. Same everywhere.

      13. The street we grew up in India were all mixed, mainly Middle class but day laborers, daily wage earners also used to live there. Doors and windows, once opened in the morning were closed only at night. We kids, specially during school breaks, never knew whose house we had lunch or snacks. Now the neighborhood has all buildings, still more middle class than rich. All building access have iron grill doors that never opens unless for the dwellers to get in and get out. The street is cluttered with cars parked, leaving very little space for anyone to walk. Not that anyone walks any more.

      14. Susan Sontag talked about eyes on the street, the kind of eyes that looked out for children playing, making sure nothing untoward happened. It created security, but the middle classes prefer the kind of security you get from locked gates.

      15. Also, any suggestion for traveling light during third week of November? Will arrive Paris at 6 AM but none of the hotels I checked had check in earlier than 3 pm. Not sure what to do for 9 hours with luggage. That will be like wasting an entire day.

      16. I may not be in a main line station as I will coming from CDG to hotel, so not sure if I can get into a main line station without a valid ticket. Still I shall check.

  1. Long and deliberately obscure seems to be the fashion. Just keep doing what you do. It’s definitely poetry.
    Although it’s nice to be acknowledged every once in awhile. (K)

    1. Poetry should make you think. It should have different levels of meaning, but if as an intelligent human being you think, look for the levels and still can’t make sense of it, seems to me there’s a problem.

      1. I agree. But I love your poetry, and I guess I write the kind that people can understand, too. . .(well, you know, since we’re the same person). 🙂

  2. I like it. I love twists and codes. Poetry is so many forms of expression…from corny limericks to high class prose. I tend to rhyme too much… I just can’t help myself. I think in rhyme lol.

    1. There’s a reason stories were told through rhyme and rhythm. It makes them memorable. The most beautiful poetry, I think, is the poetry that uses rhyme and rhyme with such skill that we don’t notice it, it’s just a vehicle to enhance the beauty of the words.

      ‘When you are old and grey and full of sleep
      And nodding by the fire, take down this book
      And slowly read and dream of the soft look Your eyes had once and of their shadows deep’

      I mean, can you get any better than that? Doesn’t that beat any free verse introverted navel-gazing poetry you can quote?

  3. I find even some of the great poems have tag lines at the end which fall short of the poem itself. Absolutely loved the entire poem and the last line has been stuck in my head for an entire bus journey home. Awesome stuff!

    1. Thank you! I was trying to work out exactly what it is about so much modern poetry that I don’t like. I don’t have the credentials to set myself up as a critic of individual poems, but there’s a type, a current, a fashion of pseudo-smart that really, really sticks in my craw. This idea that if a normally constituted, reasonably intelligent and educated person can understand it, then it’s not a good poem.
      We should say what we mean and mean what we say. It’s not that difficult really. I’m pleased you enjoyed my musings.

      1. I completely agree! Don’t get me wrong there are some beautifully abstract poems out there with hidden meanings so well written I just go, wow. But raw emotion and feeling resonate with me so much more, just like yours did!

      2. If you go, wow! it must be because you understood the hidden meaning so the poem worked. When you read a poem a dozen times and it still doesn’t make sense and half the words are words you’ve never seen written down before (never mind heard spoken) there’s something at best élitist about the poem, at worst just obscure ignorance.
        I like abstraction and try to write it sometimes, but my objection is to the poems that are too abstract for their own good. If nobody understands them how can anyone relate to them?

  4. I always had to write free verse poems. Sometimes I could make the rhyme work. Listing to music that matched what o wanted to say helped me a lot. I wrote a poem/ song called “A Dream of Arcanum” that had to deal with my story I was writing.

    1. Hearing the sound of the words has a lot to do with getting a structured poem to work. A rhyme that isn’t jars and a rhythmed form that misses the beat just sounds wrong. Some people don’t hear it. We have to learn to listen.

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