have you come across poetry
that is gratuitous and show-offy?
That is camouflaging, experimental
to a kind of insane degree?
The difficulty of which really ignores
the possibility of having a sensible reader?
I have. Or have I? I’ve quite forgotten.
Oh yes, wasn’t there something
called The Waste Land? Now that was
difficult – but was it for sensible readers?
– James Steerforth (© 2013)
A digestion of the following Billy Collins quote: “More often than not in poetry I find difficulty to be gratuitous and show-offy and camouflaging, experimental to a kind of insane degree – a difficulty which really ignores the possibility of having a sensible reader.”
You may be right to some extent, Mr. Collins, but please explain the insane degree you have in mind, and please define the sensible reader.
Written and posted for Difficulty at Poets United, where I came across the above quote.
You make a good point. What qualifies as gratuitous, show-offy, camouflaging, insane, or sensible really is a matter of opinion.
Thank you for visiting and commenting, Jennifer!
Nicely done and so true, difficult to comprehend is a matter of opinion. But oh yes I have come across some poems where I’ve stopped and said “What?”.
Dropping by from the Verse First linkup.