Why I Envy Poets

Poets have it easy.  While we novelists have to struggle through the turmoil of writing books, making sure each and every word fits in just the right place, poets can simply slap a few choice words together and call it a day.  They don’t need to bother with readable sentences, or proper transitions, or having to fill in all the tedious parts that have no bearing on your story but which you still need in order to ensure the reader can follow along with the plot.  None of that stuff matters when you’re a poet.  You cut out all the unnecessary words, and everything just flows so easily and beautifully, like piss after a long night of drinking.  Okay, maybe not my most eloquent metaphor, but come on.  You know it’s true.

I guess I’m mostly jealous of them.  I love poetry: I love how abstract it can be, how it can be vague yet still evoke powerful emotions without even requiring that you fully understand it, almost as though the emotions the poet had while writing were somehow infused into the work itself, and then transferred to the reader as they read it.  My theory is that because they’re so condensed the emotions don’t get diluted amongst unnecessary words, as is the case with books.  They can make you feel so much with so little, whereas novelists need hundreds of pages to achieve the same effect.

Don’t get me wrong; I both admire and respect poets for what they do, and I’m sure they have their bad days too, when they have trouble writing anything.  But you cannot tell me that writing a haiku will ever be as painfully awful as trying to write a book.  Or maybe you can.  What do you think?  Do poets have it easy compared to novelists and short story-ists?  Or am I a big stupid head?  Feel free to berate me in the comments section; I always love a good debate.


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