An Experiment Repeated (Rereading Old Notebooks and Resurrecting Forgotten Poetry)

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Last year on this very date, I decided to go through my massive collection of old notebooks and journals filled with poems I penned, find an old poem I totally forgot about, and attempt to give it a new chance at life by publishing it on this blog. This is a practice I would encourage every writer to try at least once. Though revisiting your past words might prove to be quite embarrassing, it also helps track your progress as a writer. On this first anniversary of that post, I’ve chosen to repeat that experiment, settling on an even older piece which I estimate is about 25 years old. Rereading the following has proven extremely illuminating to me, showing me how much my writing has changed (and hopefully improved). Back then I was writing strictly in free verse, not yet having developed my fanatical obsession with weird poetry forms. Also slam poetry was a definite influence on me, although I didn’t really care much for that style (I still don’t), but it seemed like during that time slam poetry was the only type of open poetry readings that were happening in my area (the line about “greater Providence” is a reference to AS220 in Providence, Rhode Island which hosted a slam poetry venue I frequented). As a result, I heard a lot of angst-filled rants and I remember this poem being an attempt to parody that type of poetry even though it probably wasn’t much better than what it was trying to satirize. Truthfully, I don’t even think this poem is all that terrible. I sort of rather enjoy the building and construction metaphor which I later recycled in what I believe was a much more successful poem. Still, like its title indicates, it probably is an example of fairly bad poetry. But I am not sure, so please let me know what you think:

In Celebration of Really Bad Poetry

There is enough venom in my veins
to poison greater Providence

(or at least make their spirits sick)
and I have bled all over this verse,

flooding the foundation with
an ocean of my insecurities.

The previous metaphor
was so poorly mixed,

the whole damn construction
is structurally unsound,

and ought to be condemned.
So unsuspecting reader,

be forewarned, do not seek shelter
in this poem so full of holes,

the similes like a leaky
ceiling drip incessantly,

disturbing this slumber
I once thought was my life.

12 thoughts on “An Experiment Repeated (Rereading Old Notebooks and Resurrecting Forgotten Poetry)

  1. Loved this post Paul! I, too, have gone back and looked at earlier works my own, but they always make me cringe. They seemed more raw expression than practiced words, and oddly mimicked the few forms of poetry I had been exposed to at the time. I can only hope I have grown from there. Even without a formal form, your poem above still retains a lovely flow and the word play is entertaining. I won’t say this is your best poetry, but it has aged well. Great post! It must be Throwback Tuesday.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much, Brad! Hehe, I definitely find it difficult to read some of my old stuff without cringing too. But then again. I feel some of my best work may been written in the past, and I might have peaked as a poet 10 or 15 years ago. Thank you so much for your kind words and feedback about this particular piece. I admit I do have sort of a soft spot for that poem in spite of its flaws, and definitely feel it is much better than others that I would be to ashamed of to ever post.
      I do have

      Liked by 1 person

  2. This is a great post! I did an overhaul of my blog and deleted a series that I felt no longer reflected my intent. With that said, I pulled my poems out of these posts and copied them to a word doc. I refer to them as rant or shoulder pad attitude poems. I am going to do some tweaking and republish at another date.

    Our writing changes as our lives change and to be expected, IMO. I love your poem!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Eugenia! I think it is a fantastic idea to pull some of your older poems that you are no longer sure as and paste them into a word file to tweak and republish later. It quite possible some new masterpieces may emerge from the old. i definitely have to try that myself.

      Also thank you so much for your kind words and feedback about my poem.
      You have convinced me that it may not be as cringeworthy as I originally thought.

      Like

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