Piglet and Poetry – Kindles and Dinosaurs

Although I’ve always enjoyed writing poetry it was not until I joined a Writing Forum that I discovered my hidden passion. Much to my amazement I also discovered there are many different forms of poetry. To be honest, I’m secretly an old dinosaur at heart and much prefer poetry which rhymes – probably a throwback to my schooldays.

Unfortunately, the more poetry I read the less I understand and the more frustrated I become. On reading and researching the topic I also discovered, much to my frustration, many poems have neither rhyme nor reason. What message, if any, is the poet trying to convey? Shoot me if you want but many of the poems I read are little more than a jiggled list of metaphors and cryptic clues. Maybe it’s just me as I tend to view this type of poetry as I would an abstract painting. Those in the know are in raptures while the unwashed mortals, such as myself, scratches  head in bemused confusion.

As they say: “If you can’t beat ‘em, join ‘em” so I’ve bought a selection of “How to Write Poetry” books.  (OK, you can laugh,  I have broad shoulders.)

Poetry for Dummies
The Ode Less Travelled by Stephen Fry
How Poetry Works by Phil Roberts

The learning process will be an interesting journey…

My lesson this week from The Ode Less Travelled by Stephen Fry is Metre (Meter).

Poetry’s rhythm is organized.

The life of a poem is measured in regular heartbeats.
The name for those heartbeats is metre.

My first exercise is Iambic Pentameter.

Yep, I can see you squealing and hot-footing it off to the hills already…

Before you run please check out my first attempt!  I would be grateful of critique, yays – nays and even comments which say: don’t quit your day job.

Kindles and Dinosaurs

How can a Kindle be a treasured friend?
This plastic book with no pages to bend.
Not torn, dog-eared, nor stained with salty tears.
Margins pencilled with notes from passing years.

They won’t change my mind or feelings cajole
For this plastic usurper with no soul.
They say it’s great, but I don’t understand.
This Kindle book in our house is now banned!

You’re not listening, I say: Real books are fine!
I don’t care for Kindle’s latest design.
Gizmos and gadgets don’t interest me
I like the feel of a real book, you see.

I huff as my battle with words is lost,
What price a Kindle with the hidden cost?
Will libraries be a thing of the past
As Kindles advance and the die is cast?

Friends give me their best “I-know-it-all” look
As they chant: Kindles now replace the book.
I sigh, mindful of all the friends I’ve read.
I’ll stay a dinosaur, and books aren’t dead!’

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Useful Links
Poetic Forms & Techniques

Please feel free to recommend further links.

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29 responses to “Piglet and Poetry – Kindles and Dinosaurs

  1. I love this post. I’m just like you in that poetry is like a foreign language to me but I have tried my hand at it in the past, though, not for many years now. My husband is like you in that he needs to feel the book, turn the pages, smell the paper & ink to truly take in the entire reading experience. I prefer my electronics for whatever reason…I guess it creates less clutter & takes up less space. :-) Your poem was pretty clever, I must say. You’ll be a Master at it one day. <—did you see what I did there? :-)

    • Hey Phyllis you will make a poet yet! I can thoroughly recommend the Dummies and Stephen Fry book. The other one, they should ahve paid me to have bought it :(
      I personally believe poetry should be accessible to everyone and easily understood in the message it’s trying to convey.

      the jury is out on Kindles

  2. Love the poem Pip! I’m not heavy into poetry, as much of it I don’t understand either. I do love reading Rod McKuen though. I think I was born in the wrong decade, as he was very popular in the 60′s. As for the Kindle, for me the biggest advantage is I never run out of books to read. It’s nice if am near the end of a book, and not at home, there’s always another one to start without having to carry anything more than my Kindle. Plus, it’s much easier to read more than one book at a time. I used to be the ‘books only’ person, but caved when my niece gave me a basic Kindle. I haven’t bought a paper book since.

    • Hi Shell, so you’ve gone over to the dark side :)

      I can see the benefits but looking at a screen seems strange. Plus, on the poetry books I’ve underscored loads of words and passages and made notes. I could not do this on a Kindle.

  3. I tried reading Robert Burns famous ‘Tam O’ Shanter’ and even though I had lived in Scotland I still need a cheat sheet to understand it. However there was no doubt about the rhythm and flow of the poetry. And once I learned some of meaning it was quiet raunchy too.

    • Hi Dzynr2
      I’ve not come across that poem yet. There’s so much to read and understand. I am studying a couple of Shakespeare’s works at the moment. Shame I never paid attention at school.

      Do you write poetry?

  4. Well done on your first attempt, PIP. At least I understand every word and the meaning of your poem. :) I have a kindle, but apart from the convenience when travelling, I do prefer reading a real book

  5. Thank you, PiP, for a poem I can understand and enjoy! I totally agree that most poems are a mystery. A NY friend once commented that poetry and modern art are “self-indulgent narcissism” and I didn’t bother to disagree.

  6. LOL “self-indulgent narcissism” is perfect…

    Glad you enjoyed my effort

  7. I love the title of the book The Ode Less Traveled. Poetry is so personal for me it had to ooze feelings if reflection or happiness. nice post 😋

    • Thanks patty. It’s strange but I can lose myself for hours writing poetry. Some of my other poems def ooze feelings but they need to be rewritten as the metre is incorrect. My Ode is def well travelled. His book goes with me everywhere.

  8. A note from an avid reaer of prose rather than poetry: but you seem to do just great for a ‘dinosaur’ :) ! I have been fascinated by the Japanese haiku form for decades and have written some, but ’tis all a matter of time, short hereabouts! Would love to read the Stephen Fry book: always make time for that guy!! His humour I can understand!! Kindle: was going to get one, but also love the feel of a book! And with medical evidence flooding in of its bad effect on melanine production in the brain, and damage to your sleep patterns with its backlighting, I can wait :D !

  9. Sorry from a sleepyhead, that is meant to read ‘melatonin’!!

  10. My Husband and I both have a Kindle and love the ease of transportation. I can understand how people like the feel of a book as I have loved books so much since an early age . Also we have the same account so we can swop our books to each others Kindle- one of us reads for free !!!! BTY Piglet you can underscore and make notes with a Kindle !!! Not all Kindles have a back light-
    Good poem. I do like reading poetry, its a wonderful gift

  11. Tosta Mista's Posts in Portugal

    I posted only a few of weeks ago a poem that I had written two year ago and I made the comment that I also like my poetry not only to rhyme but to be humourous too. Rhyming words are funny after all. An avid Pam Ayres fan I find serious poetry hard to work through. I remember being told at school the trick was too read it with the punctuation and not the line breaks, therefore do not pause at each line break but where the punctuation dictates. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn’t.

    • Oooh, while I was back in the UK last week I managed to pick up two Pam Ayres poetry books. I love her work. Some poetry now does not ahve punctuation and is too abstract for me. I much prefer rhyming poetry but I must try both

  12. Excellent! Whilst I love my kindle and don’t understand those who avoid them like the plague, I do still like the smell of books. The good thing about kindles and gadgets is that you can pick up where you left off on any device, nice for those who fancy a quick read on their phone whilst waiting somewhere when they didn’t bring their kindle with them.

    Great poem PiP! Loved it! Huge thumbs up!

  13. Fun poem, PiP! Kindles are great for carting around a years worth of reading in just a few ounces . . . but when I curl up with a book, I like the feel of the real deal.

  14. I think it is excellent!!! Agree about some poetry too – weird stuff some of it! :)

  15. Pretty much describes the way I feel as well. Yet if one is to write books…and more the point sell them, one cannot be a laggard in the face of technology.

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