Are You a Poet?


I really enjoyed last week’s fun in the café and thanks to you all for taking part and attempting to write the world’s shortest poem. I don’t know if any of them will overtake “Fleas” in the Guinness Book of Records, but a high five to everyone for joining in, you are all winners.

This week I am asking the question “Are you a poet?”

It seems a strange question to ask considering most people reading this post write poetry, but is the art of being a poet more than just that. The thought and question arose whilst I was conducting research for some blog posts and stumbled across a discussion asking whether the title of poet should be restricted.

There were some contrasting views, with one stating anyone calling themselves a poet should be distrusted as, “poet is a title necessarily bestowed on you by others.” Some participants suggested you should only use the term if you were a poet and wrote poetry as a full-time occupation.

Most English dictionaries describe a poet as someone who writes poetry, but is it as simple as that? For example, do you need to have had poetry published, or written a poetry book or won a poetry competition, before you can allude to the title?

In my younger days, I was once told by a teacher to beware of anyone who called themselves an expert or guru as anyone, labelling themselves as such, had stopped learning. Again, it was a title to be bestowed by others. Is it the same for poets? Can someone who recklessly uses the term poet be at risk of arrest from the Poetry Police, or is being a poet something to be shouted from the rooftops?

Are you happy to call yourself a poet, or would you rather let others use the title on your behalf?

Why not grab a coffee and air your thoughts in the café.

33 thoughts on “Are You a Poet?

  1. Hi!
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    Thank you! 😀


  2. A Poet is someone who writes poetry, simple as, it can be a professional title of course but as far as I am concerned all the other arguments are born out of perceived elitism ( and therefore insecurity)and are at best worthy of my pity at worst my scorn. .
    Oops bit feisty me thinks ! I prefer the term Alchemist of word but people tend to say “eh ! a what ?”
    Another way to view it is what drives, motives are involved. Turning this on its head does writing for profit negate artistic integrity, no of course not so likewise neither does writing for pleasure.

    Liked by 4 people

    • Thanks for this Nigel. The conversation and comments were originally from an academic setting and I, like you, scorn at the elitism that has dogged poetry for so long. If someone has the courage to write they have earned the right to call themselves what they like, in my view. I appreciate you adding your thoughts and kicking off the conversation.

      Liked by 2 people

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  6. Poem vs Poet
    A poet views life in moments. They see its beauty and emotions. They feel the vibrations of the universe. They understand its truths and its lies. Yes, sometimes, a poet’s blood pulses in rhyme. But, sometimes they express themselves with motion of dance, with the spoken word or placing their expressions on canvas. My father was a poet, though he never placed a word onto paper. The stories he told were not always straight forward and many times you had to search for his true meanings.
    A poem is only one form of expression used by a poet.
    Of course, what other answer could you expect from someone calling themselves the backyard poet.

    Liked by 4 people

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