I am new to HubPages and have enjoyed reading quite a bit of poetry. I want to go on record that I am not an English teacher, but I am a person who enjoys poetry. So here is my comment and a question I suppose.
I have been surprised and puzzled by the number of poems that are accompanied by lengthy prose explanations of what the poems mean, why, and when they were written, etc. Usually, the prose explanations are well-written, interesting, lyrical, even beautiful - they could easily stand on their own in a "prose" Hub.
I have never come across this before - whether reading single poems in a magazine or a collection of poetry in book form. My general assumption (based on my background and education, I guess) is that a poem is meant to stand on its own with only the briefest introduction, if any at all.
For me, one of the great joys and mysteries of a poem is the uncertainty, the mystery, not-knowing all the details and circumstances, and then letting the words, phrases, and images wash over you. Poems touch different places in each of us based on our temperament and our experiences - maybe sometimes less is more? What do you think? Has it become typical for poems to come accompanied by prose explanations. Thanks. phdast7
There are plenty of poems not entered in the contest. Once the contest has ended, this practice will end. The same thing is true of photo galleries. I have seen lots of photo galleries with 1000+ words articles -normally, photo galleries have few words and are mostly photos.
The poetry/poems you've been reading are part of the contest that HP has setup.
The contest requires a 500 words of content, and one of the rules is to write an introduction to the poem. The introduction can be any length and the poem can be any length, but the content must reach 500 words.
Otherwise, it's not going to happen that often. I have one or two poems I've written that have introductions, but those were written for specific reasons, not a requirement.
Hello, It is because the current poetry contest requires this, the entry needs to be 500 words. For me it feels strange to have to write in this way as I like an air of ambiguity in poetry and leaving it open to the reader's own interpretation of the meaning. The contest is at the top of the page if you wish to read the rules.
Sorry Cagsil - I need to learn to type faster, my post it looks a bit like an echo.
I am glad I came upon this question. I too was wondering why these poems had such lengthy intros--I don't like to do any explaining really about my poetry. I just want the reader to make their own impressions. Thank you to all who helped me understand what was going on!
Thank you one and all. Obviously, I did not realize that this was a requirement for the contest. Mea Culpa. It makes complete sense now why half the poems I read on Hub pages have no introduction at all, and the other half have rather lengthy introductions. If I had noticed the dates when the poems were posted, older versus newer posts, maybe I would have figured it out myself. Thanks for all the explanations. Now, back to poetry and prose.
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