18 Altered Thoughts on the 18th

poetsWith apologies (somewhat) to the poets:

1. “Poetry is not a turning loose of emotion but an escape from emotion” that helps you become a dried-up, humorless man. (Eliot)

2. “Poetry is the rhythmical creation of beauty in words” about rotting corpses. (Poe)

3. Poetry “takes its origin from emotion recollected in tranquility,” made possible by your sister cooking, cleaning, and editing for you. (Wordsworth)

4. “A poet can survive everything but a misprint” and hate crimes against homosexuals. (Wilde)

5. “Poetry is an echo asking a shadow to dance” in the fog on cat feet. (Sandburg)

6. If I read a book and it makes my whole body so cold no fire can warm me, I know that is poetry” and it must sustain me because my whole body is cold and no man is ever gonna warm it. (Dickinson)

7. “I consider myself a poet first and a musician second,” which explains a lot. (Dylan)

8. “A poet is a nightingale who sits in darkness” and cheats on his wife and kidnaps her kids. (Shelley)

9. “Poetry: the best words in the best order,” made, ideally, before the opium sets in. (Coleridge)

10. “A poet’s work is to name the unnameable” and then get the hell out of the country. (Rushdie)

11. Any healthy man can go without food for two days–but not without poetry” or opium. (Baudelaire)

12. “Some people go to priests; others to poetry; I to my friends” who provide rocks for my pockets. Hmm, I should have gone to poetry. (Woolf)

13. “The poetry of the earth is never dead,” which is a good thing since I didn’t get much fucking chance to experience it. (Keats)

14. “I’m sorry man, but I’ve got magic.. I’ve got poetry in my fingertips” and a hell of a lot of cocaine granules and hooker dust and douchebaggedness in there with ’em.” (Sheen)

15. “I think that there is nothing, not even crime, more opposed to poetry, to philosophy, ay, to life itself than this incessant business,” which I can say because my good buddy Emerson paid my bills. (Thoreau)

16. “The blood jet is poetry and there is no stopping it” unless you put your head in your oven. (Plath)

17. “I don’t think I’ve ever read poetry, ever.” Whew, that’s a relief, said Poetry. (Eminem)

18. “Poetry is a way of taking life by the throat” and continually cramming death wishes down it with every line I write. (Frost)

–Shaun Perkins (sort of)

 

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