The critic said, ” poems should be like icebergs.”
” So they can sink ships? ” the poet flippantly said.
” No poet, their meanings should be hidden.
So only reading will reveal their hidden depths. ”
“But, ” the poet said, ” what if after I’ve read it,
This poetical iceberg just leaves me all confused.”
” Then dear poet you’re obviously stupid.”
” Then dear critic I’m now all bemused.
You see I thought words were written to be seen,
Put down on paper to wait to be read.”
The critic interrupted, ” if reading poetry sinks you,
Then read some trashy fiction instead. ”
” If it’s all the same, ” the poet countered,
“You can stick your iceberg up your arse.
Words aren’t like hidden frozen water,
Nor for studying like works of art.”
” You see poet, this is why to some people poetry,
Is becoming as boring as history.
When people read a poem they shouldn’t,
Feel like they are solving a mystery.”
Arguments raged backwards and forwards,
As critic and poet argued into the night.
But there is still one little problem,
I don’t know which one was right ?
Over the few years I have spent writing poetry and prose I have entered a few competitions ( best place , second,) and though I don’t expect to come first losing is still a disappointment. Once though my “rejection ” letter came with a paragraph or two of feedback which contained the phrase , ” poems should be like icebergs, ” then something else which I forget. I wrote yesterday how ” nonsense,” can stick in your head well, that phrase remained with me for some time bouncing around my skull until I exorcised it with this poem.