Me

February 28, 2009

Hello from a Carpenter & Poet living ‘up in Vermont’.

I have three little girls, too many possessions, and too little time.

self-portrait

Born: Berlin, West Germany

Grew up: Southern Ohio & Vermont

Favorite Music: J.S. Bach. Beethoven.

Favorite Cartoons:

Peanuts
Calvin & Hobbes
The Far Side.

My Hobbies :

Skateboarding, longboarding and snowboarding. My hymn to skateboarding is “Ulysses in Burlington, Vermont”.

My Poetry:

I began writing poetry as a teenager when I saw a video of Robert Frost reading his poetry.  I do not have an MFA. I don’t have any connections. I’m self-taught. If you send me your poetry, all I can do is to read it, give you my opinion if asked, and wish you the best of luck.

My first and only book of poetry, self-published, is called Opening Book.

My Blog :

A masterfully written metrical poem has two stories to tell – two tales: one in its words; the other in its meter.

You will notice that I have a bias.

My bias is in favoring poetry in meter, that uses form, or that plays with language in ways that separate poetry from prose – rhetoric, imagery, simile, metaphor, conceit, rhyme, meter. And my preference is to call this kind of poetry Traditional Poetry.

The demands that form places on the poet, especially when using meter, is considerably greater than when writing free verse. Few poets do it well.

Great poetry can be written in free verse.  T.S. Eliot wrote free verse with genius. But free verse has been around for a very long time – over a hundred years. I suspect, though I haven’t confirmed, that far more free-verse poems have been written and are in existence than poems in any other form combined. (There are more people writing, more publishing, in more venues than ever in the history of human literature.)

Free verse has all the advocates it needs.

But if studying meter, rhetoric, metaphysical poems, metaphor or the sonnet makes one a better free-verse poet, I’m all for it.

Criticizing Poetry:

I’m a poet, not a critic. I’ll avoid “criticizing” the poetry of contemporary poets who are not widely recognized, anthologized or securely established. Poets have a hard enough time as it is. I should be so lucky, if I’m ever an established poet, to have one of my poems be the center of attention – good or bad.

Feel free to comment at the Guest Book if you have any general comments.

Patrick Gillespie