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So You Say You Can't Understand Poetry!

Updated on October 22, 2016
Jodah profile image

John has been writing poetry since his school days. He was awarded "Poet of the Year 2014" Hubby Awards and has had two poems become songs.

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April Poetry Month

This is a short poem I wrote especially for Poetry Month and for all those people out there who say they don't like reading poetry because it is too difficult to understand. Well, maybe they are right after all.

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So You Say You Can't Understand Poetry!


Razor sharpened butcher's knives

Slice cleanly through my heart.

It's only bricks and mortar

But at least that is a start.


It could be Whistler's mother

Or Mona Lisa's smile.

But winds are blowing from the East,

So it may rain in a while.


I want to be a poet

But can never find the words,

And every time I look at trees

I can never see the birds.

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Critical Analysis Invited

For anyone who thinks they can understand poetry, I invite you to do a critical analysis of the above poem (in comments). I would love to find out what the poet was thinking or intending and what poetic devices were used.

© 2014 John Hansen

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    • bravewarrior profile image

      Shauna L Bowling 2 years ago from Central Florida

      I like it when you're silly, Jodah!

    • Faith Reaper profile image

      Faith Reaper 2 years ago from southern USA

      Wonderful poem written by a true poet! I just love how much you love poetry.

      Up and more, tweeting, pinning

      Have a great weekend!

    • Jodah profile image
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      John Hansen 2 years ago from Queensland Australia

      Haha thanks Shauna.

      Thank you Faith, much appreciated, glad you liked it. Thanks for vote up, share and pin.

    • Jodah profile image
      Author

      John Hansen 2 years ago from Queensland Australia

      Haha thanks Shauna.

      Thank you Faith, much appreciated, glad you liked it. Thanks for vote up, share and pin.

    • Ericdierker profile image

      Eric Dierker 2 years ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      John be careful here. You might inspire some of us that are really quite bad at it ;-)

    • Jodah profile image
      Author

      John Hansen 2 years ago from Queensland Australia

      Really Eric, that could be interesting, even scary. :)

    • billybuc profile image

      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Oh, I understand poetry....I just can't write it worth a damn.

      Fun poem my friend.

    • always exploring profile image

      Ruby Jean Fuller 2 years ago from Southern Illinois

      I could never understand how anyone would scoff at poetry, that's like saying that you don't like music, or laughter. Life is a mixture of feelings that comes from the heart, that's poetry.

    • MsDora profile image

      Dora Isaac Weithers 2 years ago from The Caribbean

      Jodah, I just do not have the vocabulary for the lovely nature poems that the rest of you write so well. "I can never see the birds" is true for me. However, I know good poem when I see or hear one.

    • ocfireflies profile image

      ocfireflies 2 years ago from North Carolina

      Jodah,

      Every line and every image = awesome

      V+

      I can imagine this used as the lyrics in a song. There is just such a cool rhythm you have got going in this piece.

      Best,

      Kim

    • FlourishAnyway profile image

      FlourishAnyway 2 years ago from USA

      I like your humor!

    • jhamann profile image

      Jamie Lee Hamann 2 years ago from Reno NV

      Great stuff Jodah! I love it! jamie

    • Jodah profile image
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      John Hansen 2 years ago from Queensland Australia

      Thanks Bill, I'd like to see yo have a go one day. It couldn't be much worse than this one..haha. Maybe you should have had one of the characters in your book write one.

    • Jodah profile image
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      John Hansen 2 years ago from Queensland Australia

      Your words are spot on Ruby, keep flying the flag for poets everywhere. Thank you for your great comment.

    • Jodah profile image
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      John Hansen 2 years ago from Queensland Australia

      Hey MsDora, everyone in the world can't be a poet just like everyone can't be a doctor or a mechanic. But most of us appreciate what they do and can't get by without them. Where would poets be without people that appreciate their poems? Thanks for being one of those.

    • Jodah profile image
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      John Hansen 2 years ago from Queensland Australia

      Hey Kim, a song really? Sounds great to me...if you sing it, I'm hopeless. Glad you like the rhythm, and thanks for the vote up.

    • Jodah profile image
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      John Hansen 2 years ago from Queensland Australia

      Thank you Flourish. I've Ben told I am a funny fellow at times.

    • Jodah profile image
      Author

      John Hansen 2 years ago from Queensland Australia

      Hi Jamie, thanks for reading. If I can please a fellow poet I know I have succeeded.

    • MizBejabbers profile image

      MizBejabbers 2 years ago

      Yeah, some poetry is as plain as the nose on your face, while some is as complicated and nebulous as the lawbooks that I edit. I always hated it when my interpretations weren't even close as other peoples. Now I believe I have as much right to mine as Maya Angelou does hers, but when they flunked me on a standardized test for them, I didn't think that was fair at all. Don't get me wrong, I love Ms. Angelou's poetry and admire her as a women. You really are funny, though.

    • Jackie Lynnley profile image

      Jackie Lynnley 2 years ago from The Beautiful South

      So much too we can say in poetry that we may never otherwise...well not me of course, lol, but some. (Love that Mona Lisa!)^+

    • Jodah profile image
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      John Hansen 2 years ago from Queensland Australia

      Yes MizBejabbers, we are all entitled to our own interpretation. If a poet puts their work out there to be read it is open to whatever interpretation the reader makes of it. Thanks for reading and glad you found it funny.

    • Jodah profile image
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      John Hansen 2 years ago from Queensland Australia

      Thanks for your comment Jackie. You should write poetry more often. I'll read it. Yes, I think Mr Bean looks great as the Mona Lisa too. :)

    • AudreyHowitt profile image

      Audrey Howitt 2 years ago from California

      Witty and entertaining write John!

    • Phyllis Doyle profile image

      Phyllis Doyle Burns 2 years ago from High desert of Nevada.

      Very enjoyable read, Jodah.

    • Harishprasad profile image

      Harish Mamgain 2 years ago from India

      My friend, I love your true passion for poetry. Poetry is like travel back from death to life, turn stones alive, make Sun, Moon and stars to come down, make the mighty God a human and what not. Poet is a guy who is free to roam into the very crux of anyone and anything. John, this poem is so beautiful and tells a lot that goes with the birth of poetry. I wish I could also churn out a poem on a similar theme ! I relished this poem with all my heart and am sure that each one of us started loving and appreciating this wonderful art ! Thank you very much. Voted up.

    • AliciaC profile image

      Linda Crampton 2 years ago from British Columbia, Canada

      This is clever and funny, Jodah! Thank you for the entertainment.

    • Anna Haven profile image

      Anna Haven 2 years ago from Scotland

      You formed your words well. With a good message Jodah.

    • Jodah profile image
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      John Hansen 2 years ago from Queensland Australia

      Thanks Audrey, I knew you'd be able to appreciate this one.

      I really appreciate you reading this Phyllis, glad you enjoyed.

    • Jodah profile image
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      John Hansen 2 years ago from Queensland Australia

      Thanks Harishprasad, poetry seems to have become one of my greatest passions in recent years. I love all the examples in your wonderful comment. I wish for nothing more than to play a small part in helping others appreciate and actually form a love for poetry. Thank you for voting up too.

    • Jodah profile image
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      John Hansen 2 years ago from Queensland Australia

      Thank you for reading Alicia, my pleasure to entertain and glad I succeeded.

    • Jodah profile image
      Author

      John Hansen 2 years ago from Queensland Australia

      Anna, I started writing this in jest, but even then I found it carried a message. Thanks for your kind comment.

    • Frank Atanacio profile image

      Frank Atanacio 2 years ago from Shelton

      Jodah, plain and simple...Perfect.. I love that Mr. Bean's face in the Mona Lisa portrait LOL.. you are a poet my friend

    • Jodah profile image
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      John Hansen 2 years ago from Queensland Australia

      Thanks Frank, I think I actually prefer this version to the original Mona Lisa, but I am a Mr Bean fan. Thanks for the 'poet' compliment.

    • DDE profile image

      Devika Primić 2 years ago from Dubrovnik, Croatia

      Poetry is beautiful and shows true emotions.

    • Jodah profile image
      Author

      John Hansen 2 years ago from Queensland Australia

      Sure does DDE, thanks for reading.

    • epigramman profile image

      epigramman 2 years ago

      Great humor and wit here Sir J - especially in the overly/overtly serious poe-tree genre.

      Never could much understand what 'they're' trying to say/write but sure as shite you have your tongue properly placed in cheek here and you just made my day - currently drinking coffee at 12:20pm with headless piano music.

    • Jodah profile image
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      John Hansen 2 years ago from Queensland Australia

      Damn epigram man, you mean I should have listed this under satire? I was seriously attempting to be serious here, seriously. Enjoy your coffee, oh and what's the name of the headless pianist you're listening to?

    • The Examiner-1 profile image

      The Examiner-1 2 years ago

      That was interesting Jodah. I expected it to be longer. It was funny and I do not know why yet but I know it was useful too. I gave it a thumbs up and pinned it.

      Kevin

    • Jodah profile image
      Author

      John Hansen 2 years ago from Queensland Australia

      Thanks for the thumbs up and pin Kevin, even if you don't know why...haha. There is a message in the last verse, well actually the whole thing is a bit of a parody. I know it's short. I almost placed it in my micro-poems category but it didn't quite suit the style. Anyway I'm glad you found it interesting, and hope you figure out how it will be useful.

    • The Examiner-1 profile image

      The Examiner-1 2 years ago

      I read your poem again Jodah and I see what, or at least part of what, you were talking about.

    • Jodah profile image
      Author

      John Hansen 2 years ago from Queensland Australia

      Thanks for rereading Kevin, glad you have it worked out.

    • Gypsy Rose Lee profile image

      Gypsy Rose Lee 2 years ago from Riga, Latvia

      Awesome and the pictures added just the right touch.

    • Jodah profile image
      Author

      John Hansen 2 years ago from Queensland Australia

      Thank you for reading and your kind comment Gypsy. yes I thought the pics were a fun addition.

    • ubanichijioke profile image

      Alexander Thandi Ubani 2 years ago from Lagos

      you said

      "And every time I look at trees

      I can never see the birds"

      well, look no more on the trees cos the bird is perching on the woman's head. (check down photo you will see lol)

      On a more serious note, so many people find poetry hard to understand and that is a fact. The reasons vary; some say cos of ambiguity of words, writer's perspective and thematic structure. I am no Poet--assuming I am one--poetry is a sweet meal I beg to eat each day. But, you Poets should use words my small brain can understand and also give me explanation when I request to know the Poet's perspective. lol, don't mind my banter. Poetry is the sweetest of all!

      ...and that Mr. Bean/Mona Lisa photo hahaha

    • Jodah profile image
      Author

      John Hansen 2 years ago from Queensland Australia

      Thanks for your interesting comment Thandi. Ye, exactly as you say, there is no need to look for the birds in the trees when there is one on Whistler's Mother's head...haha. Glad you liked the Mr Bean Mona Lisa too. I usually try to make my poetry easy for people to understand.

    • teaches12345 profile image

      Dianna Mendez 2 years ago

      I love poetry but I'm just not that good at it. Love your photos posted here - enhances the post content.

    • Jodah profile image
      Author

      John Hansen 2 years ago from Queensland Australia

      Thank you teaches. I have noticed a few Hubbers here who say they are not good at poetry but if they do happen to write a poem they are excellent. Glad you liked the photos. I agree the do enhance the poem.

    • Shyron E Shenko profile image

      Shyron E Shenko 5 months ago

      John you know I love your poems, so I will try to interpret it's meaning, in poetic form.

      *

      *

      The butcher cutting to the heart of the matter

      In the art museum

      From the smile on Mona Lisa

      She is madder than the Hatter

      And the debauchery of Whistle's Mother's son

      Would cause any Mum to come undone

      And there is one thing you will never see

      Birds roosting in a painting of a tree

      Except for the Partridge

      On first day of Christmas eve.

      *

      *

      John, I love it!

      Blessings my friend.

    • Jodah profile image
      Author

      John Hansen 5 months ago from Queensland Australia

      Thank you for attempting to interpret this poem, Shyron :) What you came up with was very interesting, but I won't say whether it is right or wrong :) Glad you liked the poem though.

    • Elsie Hagley profile image

      Elsie Hagley 5 months ago from New Zealand

      I enjoy writing poetry, have been writing Tanka poems for a few months now on my WordPress blog - Ramblings of a writer, I have found so many ways of writing poetry, I'm stuck on tanker poetry it can tell a story in thirty-one syllables.

      I enjoy your writing whether it's poetry or short stories, there is a place in the market for this type of writing. Keep up the good work Jodah, happy days writing.

    • Jodah profile image
      Author

      John Hansen 5 months ago from Queensland Australia

      Thank you for you kind comment. I am glad you enjoy my writing, and good luck with your own. I have never tried writing "tanka" poetry.

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