Image-Only Poems

1 minute read

I said a while ago that my book of poems was finished. I thought it was finished, but it isn’t. When I started working on this collection of poems, one year ago, my goal was to quickly throw together 50 poems and to get them out there as quickly as possible. Life got in the way. I got in the way, too. I got picky.

At least I can say I’ve made progress. I finally made it to the point where I had the courage to show these poems to other people. This being in the way of their own lives, naturally, it took everybody a good while to manage to read the poems and reply – and for that I am very grateful. I especially want to thank my former professor, and my uncle, for their constructive criticism. It was very helpful.

Now that “the votes are in” so to speak, I’ve noticed a trend in the comments I got back about my poems. I got more than a few responses to about as many poems that resembled this one. “Decent image, but not much else going on here.” I’m confused about what I should do, exactly, about this type of comment. Other type of comments usually prescribe a remedy. Comments like “this line sounds out of place here” or “I don’t understand what this image has to do with the ones that followed it” – those comments suggest to me that I might want to rephrase or reorganize a poem. On the other hand, there are comments that “this poem is just an image” – I don’t have a problem with that. A comment like that, to me, reads: “this poem is finished”

What I mean is this: I’ve been writing poems that are “just an image” on purpose. I wrote about the idea a while ago. I am interested in physicalism, and as a result, imagism. Both ideas share an emphasis on the imagery of a thing, and deemphasize what I call “the moral at the end of a story”.

It’s just an image? That’s okay, right?


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