Living with the Truth Stranger than Fiction This Is Not About What You Think Milligan and Murphy Making Sense

Wednesday, 7 December 2016


Do You Get It?

She asked me where the point was
so I stabbed her in the back with it
but she still complained
that she couldn't see it
which this time was true.

But I felt better about it.

28 August 1989
I expect I'm preaching to the choir here but I doubt there's a poet reading this who hasn't been faced with a But I don't get it! at some point and, like me, you've probably wanted to take that point, as I do here, and stab them with it. Just as well it's only a metaphorical point and not a literal one, eh? For a poet the Do you get it? question is analogous to the lover's Was it good for you too? I don't get it when people don't get my poems. I understand what they mean when they say they don't get them but I don't understand why they don't get them. What's not to get? Most of them are (to me at least) statements of the bleeding obvious. Like this one. Seriously, what's not to get?


vito pasquale said...

I will sometimes write the occasional "Decoder Ring" poem which, I think it was you or Carrie who'd coined that phrase and I love it so. As you've said, in a classic Decoder Ring poem the reader would need some crypto-hint to figure out what the poem is about.

About a year ago I wrote this poem. . . which I'll probably post on Medium some day. . . I think it goes nicely with "Do You Get It?"


"I liked your poem,"
she said. "Which one?" I
asked. "You know, she said,
"the one about the."


I enjoy your how in life, as in your poem, that we can make something "true" by sheer determination. I can feel the point of your poem being thrust into the flesh. I love this play on words and the frustration surrounding.

Jim Murdoch said...

I was looking at a blog yesterday, Vito, at a review of Michael Rosen's What is Poetry? The Essential Guide to Reading and Writing Poems, a book aimed for kids about the age of eleven it seems. It sounds like a good book, the kind of thing I'd expect from a plain speaker like Rosen. It seems he describes poetry as “a midway point”, a space “between poets and readers.” It's as good a definition as any, a good starting point in any case. And then I read Ken Armstrong's blog which he opened with the following sentence: “If this blog ever had a subtitle I think it might be something like, 'Writing Really Obvious Things in a Roundabout Sort of a Way.'” I'd add that to any definition of poetry I might come up with. Love your poem BTW.

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