At what moment is it official?
When does the title follow the name?
Having been assigned homework
or when friends share text
silly rhyme and prose,
does that make everyone a poet?

Perhaps it is more like an affliction
of words bubbling over then formatted.
Maybe it is a photographer’s eye
with a pen to capture essences
rather than a camera.
How about offering a prolific effort
writing incessantly and filling tombs?
Do any of these make a poet?

Surely it is not the ability to conjure
beauty in written form!
Talent is subjective and sometimes accidental.
When we are paid for words, is it then?
Is poetry a popularity contest
wherein you are a poet only if read and accepted?
If I were one, I suppose I would know.


10 Responses to “poet”

  1. Poet (n) {PO eht} 1. a person who uses words to say things in ways that other people would not; 2. a person who finds himself or herself compelled to bend the rules of language, because to not do so would be a sin and an ugliness; 3. anyone who has poked holes in, broken down the walls of, or otherwise completely sidestepped the Box, and longs to tell you about it

  2. Bryan Borland said

    By my definition,

    You’re a poet when you have words inside your head that won’t be quiet until you’ve put them in verse form.

    You’re a poet when you have no choice but to write.

    You’re a poet when you think, “That would make a great poem.”

    And, yeah, it’s a popularity contest. With your own ego. But you’re one of the cool kids. We skip class together and smoke similes. We blow metaphor rings in the air and then write sonnets about how we miss them after they vanish.

  3. I asked myself the same question. And this was my answer:


    I actually made this into a painting too. My first attempt at visual artistry. Nothing profound, but it’s special to me.

    • Vic said

      I’d really like to see the artwork! Thanks for the comment. I’m enjoying people sharing their takes on the topic.

  4. Tel said

    Nice, Vic!

    As Bryan said, you’re a poet when you have words that won’t be quite and you have no choice but to write them down. To add to that, I think every poet has a rambling, restless mind that’s always wandering and wondering no matter where you are: bed, shower, train, work, hospital. This is why it surely must be some sort of neurological disorder. One day, I’m sure they’ll isolate the gene.

  5. 700miles said

    This response is probably way too late…Expressing pain – happiness – random thoughts in a way that is crafted…a marriage of writing, emotion, and art. Just my thoughts, I am not much of a poet.

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