The Many Faces of Poetry – So Many Poets

The Many Faces of Poetry

So Many Poets

By Arthur Rosch

Only I understand my own poetry.

If I read another poet

and get to the end of the poem

without being bored,

that makes her

a good poet.  People tell me that William Butler Yeats

was a great poet but I’ll be damned if I understand him.

There are poets who play games with words

in such a way that the poetry bends the wind so that it ties knots in itself.

Listeners are embarrassed at their lack of comprehension.

So they applaud, to hide their gullibility, and the poet goes on to become a great

poet with audiences at colleges and books on shelves at stores.

Another kind of poet writes in plain English

but his narcissism makes him seem

as if he’s holding back a fart.

For god’s sake write in plain English. Or French.  Or Serbo-Croatian. 

Let’s start again.

I love MY poems.  I love Pablo Neruda’s poems, just because I do.

e.e. cummings?  Hey, come on.  What a goofball.  And Bukowsky; that’s as close to

real as poetry ever gets.

There are too many leaves and geese in Mary Oliver’s stuff.  She’s obviously wise;

I hate poets who are wise.  They fill me with envy.  I’d like to be wise.

I don’t like poetry very much.  There’s such a to-do over it, but hardly anybody

gives a poet money.  Rich poets are always terrible.  It isn’t about the poetry.  It’s about the poet.  We need poets,

badly, desperately.  But we don’t need poetry at all.  So I guess the best thing

is to be a poet who doesn’t write. 

Just don’t tell anyone about me.


Arthur Rosch is a novelist, musician, photographer and poet. His works are funny, memorable and often compelling. One reviewer said “He’s wicked and feisty, but when he gets you by the guts, he never lets go.” Listeners to his music have compared him to Frank Zappa, Tom Waits, Randy Newman or Mose Allison. These comparisons are flattering but deceptive. Rosch is a stylist, a complete original. His material ranges from sly wit to gripping political commentary.

Arthur was born in the heart of Illinois and grew up in the western suburbs of St. Louis. In his teens he discovered his creative potential while hoping to please a girl. Though she left the scene, Arthur’s creativity stayed behind. In his early twenties he moved to San Francisco and took part in the thriving arts scene. His first literary sale was to Playboy Magazine. The piece went on to receive Playboy’s “Best Story of the Year” award.

Arthur also has writing credits in Exquisite Corpse, Shutterbug, eDigital, and Cat Fancy Magazine. He has written five novels, a memoir and a large collection of poetry. His autobiographical novel, Confessions Of An Honest Man won the Honorable Mention award from Writer’s Digest in 2016. His other works include his memoir, The Road Has Eyes, and his science fantasy novel, The Gods of Gift. Arthur’s lates release is a poetry and photography collection Feral Tenderness.

More of his work can be found at

Photos at


Want to be sure not to miss any of Arthur’s “The Many Faces of Poetry” segments? Subscribe to Writing to be Read for e-mail notifications whenever new content is posted or follow WtbR on WordPress. If you find it interesting or just entertaining, please share.

2 Comments on “The Many Faces of Poetry – So Many Poets”

  1. I like to think I understand some of your poetry, Art. I agree that some poets are just to clever for their own good and I don’t like contrived poetry. I do like Edgar Allan Poe, Rudyard Kipling, and Walter de la Mare. I am enjoying some South African poetry right now too.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. artrosch says:

    Robbie, I treasure your insights. It isn’t necessary to be crazy to be a good poet, but it helps. I think of myself as “fomerly crazy” but..just being on earth is pretty crazy-making. Thank you for the comment.

    Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s