Wednesday, August 14, 2013
Confession Tuesday on Wednesday-- The Crazy Poets Edition (aka the NO LIST Edition)
If you're not a poet, you couldn't care less about this post. Or could you? I always forget...
You wouldn't even need to address this post because it's about poetry and seriously, besides mimes and opera singers, we're a small group.
In the last couple days there have been lists made about poets. "Movers and shakers." "Influential poets." And these lists have been shared...as if they *mean* something.
Here's the deal, people on the lists love that they are on the list and people not on the list feel bad about themselves.
In reality-- lists suck.
People make lists to show they are "in" (or want to be "in") or know the right people.
People make lists because they want to feel important.
But in reality, it brings us back to an "us" and "them" world, when really it is "us" and "us."
So I'm making a list and we're all included because-- guess what Einstein-- poets are poets are poets and poetry is for everyone and not an elite group.
And if you're writing poetry, consider yourself a "mover or a shaker" (whatever the eff that means) or consider yourself "influential" in poetry, because your neighbor and her neighbor are reading poetry at night because you mentioned you wrote poems and they are not watching the Kardashians or Breaking Bad or not caring what the poets are doing.
So you can see I am somewhat, a little, a tad bit, annoyed that there are many of us writing poetry and someone is making a list without your name on it.
And that sucks.
In the real world, no one knows how much you are doing or how you are sharing poetry, or writing poetry, or dedicating yourself to your art or anything.
The lists are created based on appearances.
I know a thousand poets who live and die for poetry and weren't on a list this week. Does that mean they don't matter?
No. They matter.
What it means is that people aren't paying attention. What is means is that you live in a small town, or you're an introvert, or quiet, or you don't announce everything you do. or that life doesn't have to be a list with your name on it. It means you don't live near where said-listmaker lives or you haven't blogged about yourself lately.
I confess I am tired of lists.
Lists of influential poets or any list with my name on it or not, means nothing.
What matters if you care about what you are doing or writing or that your art is something that matters to you.
I'm tired of people being neglected.
I'm tired of seeing a list and realizing that half of the frigging country isn't on it. And "frigging" is an understatement.
Understand, people will always try to put you into a group-- don't let them. Be the narwhal. Be the meteor across the sky, so fast and sparkly, no one can catch you when someone says, "Look."
Some of the most beautiful things are seen only by a few people.
That doesn't mean they aren't important.
This doesn't mean you aren't important.
I'm writing a list with your name on it.
When you're not on a list, it just means that some people weren't paying attention. And that's their problem, not yours. You? You just keep writing.
And that's their fault, not the fault in our stars. (Did you see how I did that?)
Relax, baby. Things will all work out.
I'm making a list and you're all included.
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Written by Kelli Russell Agodon