Re: Re: Is Poetry for Cowards?

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I don’t think of Rudyard Kipling or Robert Service as cowards.

I don’t think of David, on the run from Saul’s army, as a coward.

I don’t think of one of my close friends, a guy who writes poetry so well I and others have begged him to submit it for publication, as a coward. For some reason poetry is a more effective way for him to empty his feelings onto the page. He makes his living as a writer (non-fiction), and I don’t think he’s “beating around the linguistic bush” when he writes poems about his wartime experience–the camaraderie he felt in his unit, the crazy unpredictable nature of combat, or the feeling of emptiness that often follows.

I don’t think of a guy I knew who used to write a new poem for his wife every week as a coward. He was on the personal security detail of a member of a prominent royal family (an Arab leader who had dared to make peaceful overtures to Israel, and was therefore promptly placed under threat of assassination by some of his Arab brothers). The poet was willing to take a bullet for that leader.

I don’t think of Pendragon, even though I don’t know him, as a coward, or as one “beating around the linguistic bush.” I doubt his wife will either. As a matter of fact, I am still rolling “there is opulence in our closeness” over my tongue, and I can’t think of a better way to say it.