I’ve been thinking about poetry, which is dangerous, because you quickly end up in a messy pile of self-justification mixed with self-gratification. Like most art, isn’t it simply about communicating: either I want to explain what I think about something; I want to describe something to you that I thought worth pointing out; or this thing makes me feel like this…and maybe try to do that in an interesting or novel way.
In essence, like the great John Lee Hooker said, “It in and it got to come out” before exhorting us to “Boogie Chillun”
People will generally tune in or not depending on whether the subject interests them or if the quality of the discussion (regardless of the subject) keeps them interested. If neither of those things happen, then you’ve lost my attention…
Sometimes a moment and a poem collide and we get a Manchester/Tony Walsh thing going on and people outside the poetry bubble realise that sometimes they quite like a “good poem”, some of them even stick around and get more involved.
…and some people are better at it than others, either through luck or hard work. Of course “better” is subjective.
I’m not sure there’s much more to it. Except to say even if you don’t like a particular poem/poet you should treat the effort to communicate with respect (a friend who is a [very good] musician and performs live, is amazed that people can stand up with nothing but words between them and an audience, “there’s no guitar to hide behind”)…and if you listen hard enough you may find something new or surprising where you didn’t expect to.
…which is probably enough thinking.