My American Lit Survey class is ending the semester with two solid weeks of twentieth-century poetry, so students' written comments ask the same questions over and over:
1. Why is this a poem? It doesn't rhyme.
2. That poem is too long. I got bored just reading the title.
3. Why would anyone write a poem about _____? (Fill in the blank: garbage, food, sex, desire, murder, suicide, madness, ordinary life.)
4. That poem is so random!
5. I don't understand the poem. Please explain the hidden meaning.
Here is my response:
I am not an oracle.
The meaning is in the words.
The words are not random,
even when they don't rhyme.
It is what it is,
and if it bores you,
maybe you should write your own poem.