Oh, a writer? How many poems do you have?

In the light of the recent events on Literature Nobel Prize, it has been widely speculated this and that and in general the shock of it isn’t cooling off. A poet received a literature honors.

Well, in general, that’s the definition of literature – it consists both of written long works and poems.

However, I do understand the big hit it has given to the novelists, who realized that what they considered one of the few high honors given to writers, has suddenly been given to someone, who is not a writer. He is a poet.

It was quite a shock to me too, because I couldn’t believe what i was hearing – musicians have tons of famous awards given to them yearly, so why give the award to push world changing literature to someone, who is already famously awarded here and there?

Sounds like a bitter loser talk?

Is it? I am a writer. Yet I don’t do poetry. Almost at all, with the trio exception over the years, but aside those three, I don’t like writing them. But it rang home, when they said Dylan got the prize, because even here, the most common question to a writer is “how many poems have you written?” or “what kind of poems do you like?”.

So you sigh inwardly before starting the laborious task of explaining the difference between poet and a writer.  That you haven’t got any poems and, in my case, I don’t like reading them much either. But that last part I’m trying to keep out, because so far that makes me look like an idiot it seems, because then they toss me six known poet names or begin telling me how “limiting your vocabulary in writing shows your expertise on using words.” Which isn’t wrong, because as any writer knows – you have to have some kind of synonym dictionary and need to read constantly to take in new expressions.

Sometimes it seems that writers are hypergraphics, sick people, who have the need to write rather than creators of something beautiful too while poets are the true gauge of the literature. I have been called that by a poet, after I confessed I’d written 10 000 words in one night, because i had this idea that wouldn’t let me go. I guess it did register as an insult, now that I think of it, because I don’t know how to call someone, who has to limit themselves to the point that they want to squeeze out a large thought through the minimal amount of words. Which is usually accompanied by monster load of explanatory footnotes, because, imagine that, nobody understood what they wanted to say.

So which is better? To express yourself clearly in the first place and meet people, who understand your meaning, although considering the perspective of any reader, the meaning of any piece of art is subject to their upbringing and perspectives of the world, or to be not understood at all, because you pretty much test them instead of having a conversation. But they talk in the language the poetry readers understand and well, that kinda makes this entire conversation a pointless use of air.

I was upset, when I heard Dylan got the Nobel Prize. As I do admire his works, I understand, why he was given it and I don’t mind that part at all, because it is literature award, not novel award.  The upset part came from the past conversations of my own life, or the society’s opinion that if I say I write, then they automatically assume I write poetry. And seeing a poet get the award over writers, kinda hammered it home.

As if novel writers are dwelling in the red light district of literature, because all the places in big palaces are taken by the poets and unless you switch, you get to enjoy all the looks from the “true” writing circle, who pity you for your lack of talent. “That’s why you have to work aside.” They say. Good for you that you got famous, when literature still meant something, but hey, yeah, we still do it and if courtesans have been turned into street prostitutes, then I guess the readers King and Queen have to come to red light district to use our services.

 

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Filed under ABOUT WRITING, Drama

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