Poem Rant

Third of December
Last weekend was my second time on the creative writing university course I am currently attending to. The theme of this second weekend was poems. My relationship with poems could be described as awkward and almost hostile:

I hate poems. I always end up writing poems. For some odd reason, other people love the poems I write. They love the poems I don’t want to write.

Reading poems isn’t for me. I know there is a lot of people in this world who share my opinion. They think that poetry is boring, too hard to understand and not for them. Only the last claim describes me.

Poems aren’t boring. You just have to find the right ones. Even music and especially rap songs would be poems if we wrote them down and forgot the sound. And who doesn’t listen to music?

Anyone can understand poems. If you say that I am wrong, then you have never even tried. Find a poem and read it ten times. That’s it. Now you understand it. There is no one way to read poems. Everyone understand them differently depending on their own mind and life experiences. Sometimes the poets can’t even understand their own poems so you shouldn’t stress too much. Just read a poem and let your own thoughts fly.

Even if you think that the poem is deathly boring. Last weekend taught me that it is okay to hate poems. As long as you are feeling something the poems are doing their job right.

tomatoes, you know, are real
that is, if they remain tomatoes
if they try to be melons, however,
they then become fakes
though everything and everyone is real
in their own way,
it seems we always try so hard to become fakes
-Mitsuo Aida

I know I started this text by saying that I hate poems. Maybe it is a lie? My lacking English is on the way. The better way to say this may be “I hate poetry”. I am not sure. I hate poems but then again there are poems I love more than anything else. Like that Mitsuo Aida’s tomato poem above.

I first saw this poem at Mitsuo Aida museum in Tokyo, Japan. It was written in Japanese and this is just the translation. I have no idea if it is as good in Japanese but like this, it described my feeling at that time. Before going to Japan I had tried to be a melon. I applied to university, tried my best to create a normal life and just played this role of someone I was expected to be.

Then I went to Japan. For the first time in a long while, I felt like I was a tomato again. I had to buy a postcard with this text in it. I think I lost it during the three months I spent in Japan but I still can’t forget this poem.

So, I don’t hate poems. Some poems touch my heart, make me smile or occasionally even laugh out loud. It’s awkward and maybe a little hostile but I love poems and writing them.

With love,

Hard To Understand Viivi

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