This weekend I was watching a poet perform and while I was impressed with his cadence & verse, the way he turned a metaphor, it was the short two minute conversation between poems that intrigued me. The poet was talking about the role of the poet in taking the reader on a journey through their words…and he made a statement that sent me wondering.
He said, “To truly take a reader on a journey you have to be honest.”
He did not really explain the statement and just left it to hang out there and for us to mull over.
At first my thoughts went to the difference between non-fiction and fiction, but that is not what he meant—i dont think. I think that is preference and I have read plenty of fictional poetry that moved me just as well.
My interpretation of what the poet was saying had to do with the heart put in the poem. It is easy to tell when there is no heart and a poem is just made of words strung together.
Of course, he could have been talking about not trying to be another poet and being yourself, staying true to yourself—finding your own voice.
So, let’s talk—what is the role of honesty in poetry?