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The more I learn the less I know

Some Neopoet members who have been around for a while will remember me being much more aggressive and opinionistic.

I got to to tell you, I have learned more about poetry and more about what I don't know about poetry here than I ever learned at University.

I didn't happen to pick up much humility, but I reckon that's an affectation anyway.

I've read poets here who have literally changed my life, and poets who I would rather bury deep in a pile of shit than read any of their work again. And told both types so.

A little more reluctant with the latter these days. What I studied, read, worked and scrounged to learn, some seem to have the ear for naturally. Some have come here posting truly horrible trite verse and gone on to become significant poets.

I may still come down hard on people sometimes, but it is usually when I know they can do much better. Perhaps that is my deeper talent. I've written some pretty ok poetry, but I have mentored triteness to poetry. Now that is what I to do.

Of course I still write poetry, but I've never been prolific, a bit here and there will keep me in the game.

The best advice I can give anyone is read poetry. Not just here, but the great, the English and Irish Romantics, the American Beats, The Liverpuddians. Reading great poetry doesn't co-oerce you, it teaches, as great poetry should, and you happen to learn to avoid cliches.


i have to tell you, your continued telling to any and all, to read, read,
read poetry, is possibly the single most helpful, true, piece of advice i've come across.

so thank you. you DID get me reading more poetry, (and i continue to
do so) and it's been quite a revelation in a number of ways.


it was only when I discovered that I liked writing poetry that I started reading it (around 12 years old). And I didn't like it! It was a fucking chore, until I discovered the Mersey poets. Roger Mcgough, Brian Patten, Adrian Henri and more recently of course, wosssisname

A new workshop on the most important element of poetry-
'Rhythm and Meter in Poetry'

author comment

was in my own Aussie tongue, Judith Wright's "Legend"


The blacksmith's boy went out with a rifle
and a black dog running behind.
Cobwebs snatched at his feet,
rivers hindered him,
thorn branches caught at his eyes to make him blind
and the sky turned into an unlucky opal,
but he didn't mind.
I can break branches, I can swim rivers, I can stare out
any spider I meet,
said he to his dog and his rifle.

The blacksmith's boy went over the paddocks
with his old black hat on his head.
Mountains jumped in his way,
rocks rolled down on him,
and the old crow cried, You'll soon be dead.
And the rain came down like mattocks.
But he only said,
I can climb mountains, I can dodge rocks, I can shoot an old crow any day,
and he went on over the paddocks.

When he came to the end of the day, the sun began falling,
Up came the night ready to swallow him,
like the barrel of a gun,
like an old black hat,
like a black dog hungry to follow him.
Then the pigeon, the magpie and the dove began wailing
and the grass lay down to pillow him.
His rifle broke, his hat blew away and his dog was gone and the sun was falling.

But in front of the night, the rainbow stood on the mountain,
just as his heart foretold.
He ran like a hare,
he climbed like a fox;
he caught it in his hands, the colours and the cold -
like a bar of ice, like the column of a fountain,
like a ring of gold.
The pigeon, the magpie and the dove flew up to stare,
and the grass stood up again on the mountain.

The blacksmith's boy hung the rainbow on his shoulder
instead of his broken gun.
Lizards ran out to see, snakes made way for him,
and the rainbow shone as brightly as the sun.
All the world said, Nobody is braver, nobody is bolder,
nobody else has done
anything equal to it. He went home as easy as could be
with the swinging rainbow on his shoulder.

Judith Wright

A new workshop on the most important element of poetry-
'Rhythm and Meter in Poetry'

author comment

judith wright was one of the poets i discovered after
following your advice to read...

first poem of hers i came across...sent me scurrying to find
her works

Request to a Year

If the year is meditating a suitable gift,
I should like it to be the attitude
of my great- great- grandmother,
legendary devotee of the arts,

who having eight children
and little opportunity for painting pictures,
sat one day on a high rock
beside a river in Switzerland

and from a difficult distance viewed
her second son, balanced on a small ice flow,
drift down the current toward a waterfall
that struck rock bottom eighty feet below,

while her second daughter, impeded,
no doubt, by the petticoats of the day,
stretched out a last-hope alpenstock
(which luckily later caught him on his way).

Nothing, it was evident, could be done;
And with the artist's isolating eye
My great-great-grandmother hastily sketched the scene.
The sketch survives to prove the story by.

Year, if you have no Mother's day present planned,
Reach back and bring me the firmness of her hand.

Judith Wright

i completely enjoyed Legend...a poem to be read over and over

she's pretty fucking good, eh!

A new workshop on the most important element of poetry-
'Rhythm and Meter in Poetry'

author comment

Indeed, i have seen the change in you. As to that poem.....what a wonderfully intricate rhyme pattern! With vivid imagery and subtle but not too subtle secondary level of meaning. Well worth reading this blog just to read this poem.

And you are correct, reading poetry by others has taught me more about the difference between good and great poetry than could possibly be taught in a classroom...............stan

one of the things about that poem Legend, is that in primary school (age 6-12) one student had to give a 3 minute talk each morning (I was in what they called "Opportunity Class", for gifted kids). Because I only spoke for 2 1/2 minutes my class mates ravaged me on feedback, but because I was the only child who had ever given a talk on a poem my teacher got out her rubber "bee" stamp and stamped me on both knees. I was the bee's knees!

A new workshop on the most important element of poetry-
'Rhythm and Meter in Poetry'

author comment

I've heard the term Bees Knees before but had no idea its origin. Was this a common thing down there?.........stan

and that was in England

A new workshop on the most important element of poetry-
'Rhythm and Meter in Poetry'

author comment

someone like you is open to his friends which I don't often do. This.definitly adds credits to your popularity in the site and among the friends.Please keep your honest comments coming as long as there is no insult to the poet's personality.


Poetry is when an emotion has found its thought and the thought has found words ........Robert Frost☺

Please follow me on Instagram

Yes, I feel like I am in a much better place now, being more creatively constructive.
It's just a pity I haven't been able to write for a while.
There is this one poem that's been mulling in my head for a while about....
nup! A definite jinx on the muse if I describe the poem before I write it.

A new workshop on the most important element of poetry-
'Rhythm and Meter in Poetry'

author comment
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