I have encountered many lovely, lovely poets.
I have encountered a few poets who are gits.
I have encountered many lovely, lovely non-poets.
I have encountered a few non-poets who are gits.
You see where I’m going with this? Good.
Thing is, there are some folk out there, at times more than we’d imagine, who are labouring under the misapprehension that “being a poet” makes a person a certain “type”.
And I am sick of it.
Hence this post, in a departure from my poetry-only policy on the blog.
Some poets may exhibit some or all characteristics popularly attributed to poets, BUT we are not given a “poet starter kit” upon “coming out” as a poet, containing a full new personality, wardrobe and moral code.
Things poets are NOT by default:
To summarise: more sensitive than any non-poet could ever hope to be. *Insert flounce of tear-stained shawl here*
Of course, we may be any or all of these things at different times and/or at the same time.
AND SO CAN NON-POETS.
When I meet a prospective friend, boyfriend, employer, window-cleaner, etc, do I ask “So, do you write…?” with that particular tilt of the head and raised eyebrow that seems to say “So… Am I a more evolved human being than you…?” No. Of course I don’t. I’m more likely to ask if they want a cup of tea. And if they do, will they make me one whilst they’re about it.
Because I’m a lazy person who likes a lot of tea.
As well as being a poet.
See, the poet thing is entirely incidental – which is not to say unimportant to me – and my caffeine habit makes me entirely insensitive and selfish, not a characteristic we’d associate with the whole, tortured, “too soulful for this world” persona.
The reason I find the whole thing so crazy is not so much that it’s insulting to poets – which it still is – but that it’s insulting to EVERYONE.
I suppose at least that makes it an equal opportunities assumption.
But who is ANYONE to decree that just because a person does not write, read and/or has no interest in poetry whatsoever that this makes that person less likely to experience or express extreme or worthwhile emotion, sensitivity and all that kit and caboodle? Well, that’s just bloody rude. We like the “different” and the “unusual”, but just as long as they’re “different” and “unusual” in EXACTLY THE SAME WAY we are? No, thanks – that’s too easy. And therefore, no fun.
So, yeah, to conclude…
If you write poetry, that’s cool.
If you don’t write poetry, that’s cool.
Now will someone make me a cup of tea please?