Not a Fan

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Long ago and far away, when I was a senior in high school, I had a giant crush on a girl, Ann, who was the editor-in-chief of our school’s quarterly literary magazine, The Quill. Each issue contained about 30 student-written poems and short fiction as well as a handful of student-drawn sketches.

I was never a literary-oriented student. I could write decent essays for my various classes, as long as they were mostly reporting facts, recounting observations, and didn’t require too much imagination or creativity.

When it came to poetry, however, I was not a fan. Poetry hurt my head. Of course, I had no choice but to read poetry if I wanted to pass Honors English Lit. I had to read a bunch of poems by poets such as W.H. Auden, E.E. Cummings, Emily Dickinson, Walt Whitman, Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, Elizabeth Barrett Browning, Jack Frost — oh wait, that’s Robert Frost — and myriad other poets whose names I have long since forgotten.

I recall sitting in English class when the teacher would ask, “Who can tell us what the poet was saying?” I would try to will myself into invisibility, hoping the teacher wouldn’t see me. It never worked, though. I would inevitably be called upon to offer my interpretation of what this poem or that one meant.

What I wanted to say when ask to explain what the poet was saying was, “How the hell should I know?”

Word Salad

Instead, I would go into word salad mode, hoping that, when strung together, my response would sound insightful. After I finished my haphazardly crafted, totally meaningless response, the teacher would often stare at me for a few seconds and then point to another student. “Elizabeth, what do you think the poet meant?” Of course, Elizabeth always nailed it. What a little bitch.

But I digress. In order to spend more time with Ann, I volunteered to work on the staff of The Quill. I was the only boy on the magazine’s staff, something my beloved Ann appreciated. At first, anyway.

But as the school year progressed, Ann began to see through my act. When she asked for my thoughts on poems students had submitted for inclusion in upcoming issues of the literary magazine, she realized that I had no thoughts at all.

Ann was quite perceptive. One day she asked me directly, “Do you even like poetry?”

I couldn’t pretend anymore, even though I knew my confession might end any chance of dating Ann. “Poetry is too much work,” I blurted out. “You have to try to cut through all that symbolism, the flowery language, and all the metaphors and similes. You have to dig deep into the lines of the poetry to get to the underlying meaning, to try to figure out what the fuck the poet was attempting to say. Why can’t the poet just lay it out, plain and simple and without all that ambiguity?”

Furious, Ann fired me from the staff of The Quill. I was crushed by my crush.

And to this day, I am not a fan of poetry.


Today’s Daily Prompt word is quill. Thanks, WordPress, for churning up this painful memory.

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35 thoughts on “Not a Fan

  1. Sight11 July 7, 2017 / 9:53 am

    You made up that last line.. You must have said another word.. No.. Just no other thing.. Just No.. And change your pen name to Momus…

    Liked by 1 person

    • Sandi July 7, 2017 / 10:07 am

      Sight! He said exactly how I’ve tried to express myself about poetry. This. This piece. So Me! What I was trying to explain and did so sub par.

      Liked by 2 people

    • Fandango July 7, 2017 / 11:47 am

      Momus? You mean the guy from Greek mythology who was the personification of satire and mockery? (Thank you Google)

      Liked by 1 person

      • Sight11 July 7, 2017 / 11:48 am

        Yep.. That should be your stage name too..

        Liked by 1 person

          • Sight11 July 7, 2017 / 12:10 pm

            No.. This life.. Try Comedy man. You and Sandi are natural..

            Like

  2. Sandi July 7, 2017 / 10:05 am

    I AM HUGGING you right now! Hahaha. everything written here is exactly how I felt (and feel) about poetry. I just could never express it properly. This post just did – god love you. There are so many with bogs dedicated to poetry, which primarily leaves me scratching my head! (I always feel dumb, uh, I think this is what you mean?)

    Oh, in school English Lit – don’t call on me, don’t call me… (of course, he called on me) – “uh, I think this is what’s happening…” And I was so proud of myself for coming up with a pretty good answer. “NO. You have to remember the times this person lived in and what’s happening history wise. And Romanticism.” (what? Now I’ve got to know history too – that’s my bad subject.)

    Why can’t we just read something and enjoy it without analyzing.

    ohhh. F it.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Sight11 July 7, 2017 / 10:07 am

      Hmm.. And to think you were concerned about me by ‘understanding’ my poetry..

      Liked by 1 person

      • Sandi July 7, 2017 / 10:07 am

        Dude, I told you – I’ll try – but you can’t expect much

        Liked by 2 people

        • Sight11 July 7, 2017 / 10:15 am

          Read my comment below i forgot to click reply button..

          Like

    • Fandango July 7, 2017 / 11:52 am

      I’m glad to see that I’m not alone in my basic antipathy toward poetry.

      Like

  3. Sight11 July 7, 2017 / 10:13 am

    Look Sandi.. You are what you are.. But you and Fandango think of poetry as cryptic.. Well it isn’t.. You already killed it with Monty Python and Twitter Challenge posts.. So you and Fandango should now do a poetry post.. Come on.. Do it..

    Liked by 1 person

    • Sandi July 7, 2017 / 10:16 am

      No, there are poetry snobs out there that would make fun of me (and hurt my feelings)

      Liked by 1 person

      • Sandi July 7, 2017 / 10:18 am

        Oh, and BTW: I’m fine with understanding my own stuff…it’s the understanding of others…

        Liked by 1 person

        • Sight11 July 7, 2017 / 10:19 am

          Come on.. A poem your style.. Take the leap..

          Liked by 1 person

        • Sight11 July 7, 2017 / 10:21 am

          Come on.. A poem your style take the leap.. And Fandango must be furious that his comment Section has become our chat room..

          Liked by 2 people

          • Sandi July 7, 2017 / 10:23 am

            He told us to get a room! Hahahah It’s his chat room!

            Liked by 2 people

            • Sight11 July 7, 2017 / 10:25 am

              Hurry before he become furious..

              Like

            • Sandi July 7, 2017 / 10:30 am

              He’ll have to write a FABULOUS post talking about the irritating comment ‘ ers ! We’ll like it, I know we will…in fact Fandango… you can bet we’ll have something to say! We’ll boost your comment section for you and get other’s talking! (you’re welcome) Actually, FAN…I’m a total fan of your writing! Just write a satire about your new crazy blogging pals.

              Liked by 2 people

            • Sight11 July 7, 2017 / 10:32 am

              But in all fairness I will wait for you two to write your own poetry post.. In your own style..

              Liked by 1 person

            • Sandi July 7, 2017 / 12:42 pm

              okay, already, stop the badgering. It’s done.

              Liked by 1 person

            • Fandango July 7, 2017 / 12:03 pm

              Maybe I’ll write a poem about my crazy new blogging pals.

              Like

            • Sandi July 7, 2017 / 12:04 pm

              AS long as you know what you’re talking about and understand your own writing.

              Liked by 1 person

            • Fandango July 7, 2017 / 12:02 pm

              When I said that, I was using poetic license.

              Liked by 1 person

        • Sight11 July 7, 2017 / 10:21 am

          Read my comments below..

          Like

        • Sight11 July 7, 2017 / 10:22 am

          Read below..

          Like

        • Fandango July 7, 2017 / 11:59 am

          You’ve got a leg up on me, Sandi. I don’t write poetry because I don’t think I could even understand my own stuff.

          Liked by 1 person

          • Sandi July 7, 2017 / 12:04 pm

            that might be a problem.

            Reminds me: I had a grammar instructor trying to teach us to write a proper paragraph. She said to me, “I don’t think you even know what you’re talking about, how can others?” Talking in a circle?

            Liked by 1 person

    • Fandango July 7, 2017 / 11:56 am

      Sorry, Sight, but I just don’t do poetry. I don’t even know how to interpret “roses are red, violets are blue.” Nope, I just won’t embarrass myself by even trying.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Sight11 July 7, 2017 / 11:59 am

        I will never give up hope.. And come on a Satirical piece on poetry through poetry.. Mission Impossible.. Except for one man.. All hail Fandango.. And one female too.. Sandi..Hurray..

        Liked by 1 person

  4. John Holton July 7, 2017 / 11:03 am

    “How the hell should I know?” would probably be better than the answer I gave when asked the same question: “Beats the sh*t out of me.”

    Liked by 1 person

  5. baddadcartoons101 July 7, 2017 / 11:25 am

    I felt the same way about poetry growing up until one day I discovered a special type of poem…the limerick !

    Liked by 1 person

  6. GraiceLil Escapegoat July 7, 2017 / 12:26 pm

    Ironically, she didn’t dig through to see why you were trying to be involved and call that poetry. Ann should fire herself.

    Liked by 1 person

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