What are Poets?

Poet: someone who received an English degree, but now has no intention of furthering education so he/she lives with his/her parents while scribbling down quite a lot of angry lines in the spaces between help-wanted ads they never intend to read (Webster’s Online Dictionary)

I was wondering the other day what exactly the function of a poet is. As far as anyone can tell, a poet spends a lot of time drinking lattes and complaining about the government and shopping at H&M and listening to bands no one has heard of because they made them up.

Schedule of a poet’s day:

Wake at 11

-Go get coffee (sugary Starbucks frappe)

-Nurse Starbucks for 3 hours

-Write “The scent of blood is in the air.”

-Feel satisfied

-Find nearest record store so he can ask for the Snugglewumps newest album.

W.S. Mervin (current poet laureate) suggests that poets serve no real purpose other than to help other people meditate. Which I thought was the whole point of yoga teachers. THEY help you meditate (and have an affair with you if you’re a mildly successful businessman).

I’d like to think poetry makes people feel better for a little while. I’d like to think it has a purpose, even if that purpose is not definite.


About Derek Berry

Derek Berry is a novelist and spoken word poet. Derek is the author of Heathens and Liars of Lickskillet County (PRA Publishing, 2016). He co-founded and organizes The Unspoken Word, a literary non-profit based out of Charleston, SC, which provides an intendent home for the poetic arts through regular readings, workshops, and community fundraisers. He is on the Executive Board of the Charleston Poetry Festival, the inaugural production of which will be Fall 2017. His work has appeared in The Southern Tablet, Cattywampus, Charleston Currents, Illuminations, RiverSedge, and other journals.He has performed in venues across the United States and Germany. He has worked as a photographer’s assistant, busboy, and bookseller. He currently works at a curation facility for Cold War History.

Posted on May 31, 2011, in Poetry, Writing. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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