Part 10 - Two Contemporary Poems and Deciding "what is good"

Two Contemporary Poems and Deciding What Makes a ‘Good Poem’


Part of the purpose of this project was for me to articulate what I like and do not like in poetry and also explain why. This would help me as a writer, presumably, because I’d be able to avoid it the dislikes in my writing, or at least edit them out of revisions. For this reason, I have looked at two contemporary poems, one I like and one that I do not like and examined why it is I assess them as I do.

I chose poems that I reacted negatively or positively to upon first read. I have since come to classify first reading of poems as a reaction to the “energy” in a poem. I liked the energy in Kimberly Lyon’s poem “Lune,” and something about Meghan O’Rourke’s “On Marriage” made me scrunch my nose.

Here’s what I have termed as the parts of a poem:

Interior + Exterior = Poem
Interior = Energy [Texture (Structure + Form)]
Exterior = (Substance) (Function) (Spirit)