Friday, December 14, 2012

The poet in all of us

"We all write poems," John Fowles says in The French Lieutenant's Woman, "it is simply the poets are the ones who write in words."

That says to me that we all have feelings. We all experience beauty. We all think sometimes about life and death and love.

A good poem is one that expresses a thought or a feeling or an experience that readers recognise and identify with. Good poets, even good prose writers, can do that in a few lines. Most of the rest of us can't.

I hold Robert Frost's poem The Road Not Taken dear to my heart, not because it is necessarily such a great poem, but because it expresses something I often think about. Where would I be and what would I be doing and, even, who would I be married to if I had taken some road other than the one I chose. I may write this poem, frequently in fact, but as John Fowles would put it, Frost is the one who so ably put it in words.

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