I’m No Poet and I Sure Know It

I live in the middle of nowhere, so any RWA writing groups are hours and hours away. The closest is in  Minneapolis. Yeah, eight hour drive one way for a two hour meeting? Not worth it. But I still like interacting with other writers face to face, so I joined a local writers’ group a few years back when it was at the library. It disbanded due to lack of interest, but has recently come back together.

So last week I fed the kids some TV dinners and went to a local coffee shop to meet up with my fellow writers. I recognized a couple from the old group, and there were some new members. Mostly college kids, and every darned one of them a poet.

I might as well admit it now: I don’t “get” poetry. To me poetry rhymes and has rhythm. So what’s with this free-form stuff? Isn’t it just pretnentious prose? I have no idea. If it doesn’t start with There once was a man from Natucket.., it’s pretty much beyond me. And yet the prompt for next meeting is to write a poem. Big shocker there. I told them I’d pass, but instead bring the first scene from my next book. They were good with the scene, but still want me to write a poem. They hounded me until we all left, and I kept telling them any poetry from me would be so painful as to be compared with a Vogon’s. (If you don’t get that reference, go read Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy – fun book.) Seriously, they could use my stuff down in Guantanamo Bay. But they kept at me. So I caved. Here it is, Cate’s poetry:

There once was a lady named Cate

Who really could not operate

The rhythms and rhymes, so most of the time

Her poems were just not that great

They can’t say I didn’t warn them.


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