Super size my clever
This is not a direct response to Kyle’s comments on clever in the younger poet’s poems. Instead it is brief question I’ve been asking myself since I read his post. What is wrong with clever? Why is it ranked lower than irony? My first response to the comment that there is too much clever in the underage poems was to agree, not with the assertion, but that clever is a negative. Why do I have this knee jerk reaction? Sure, there are folks out there that are so clever it makes me sick, but my friends, people I like, when they get a clever streak going, I kind of like it. They are being silly. Silly is good. How different is clever from silly? Is it the trying?
In my mind, clever can be just about anything. Sometimes it falls flat on its face, and in these times, the clever is apparent, just as when Irony is stretched and fails, it becomes even more apparent. The best irony is that which goes unnoticed. Irony which is not called Irony. I think this might be the same with clever. Clever, when working, can hit somewhere between curiosity and humor and plain ass stupid. I am not saying we should aim for clever (or any result), just that if clever occurs, so be it. Rather read poems full of clever than full of Irony. Rather read poems full of the laughing “I” than the self conscious “There is no “I” in my poems”. There is too much tip toeing around. When the comment on Ogg is that Matt has put him down, and the humor (which truly had me laughing) is ignored, I think that is a shame. Why are we so careful? Did anyone else laugh?
But to get to it. The comment was that younger poets are being too clever. Sure, some of the poems out there fail. But this is not limited to the younger set. Failed poems are a dime a dozen, I got a few spare ones if anyone wants em. No published poet is without the bad published poem. And a poet who is well practiced should be able to write a different poem than the inexperienced poet. All of us are just sharpening our tools and putting them into the tool box. let’s get our laugh on. If anything, we need to play more.