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Impact of a Poem: The Good, the Cute, and the Functional (1 Viewer)


WF Veterans
Like a solid, reliable service dog there is good poetry. Pieces that make us think, evoke our emotions and make us empathize. These pieces can remind us of the beauty in the little things, a task that is doable because one has a buffer of a trustworthy dog. Good poetry, distracts, buffers, and teaches lessons we might otherwise ignore. It works in subtle ways, but its impacts are lasting.

Then there are pieces that are nought but fluff. Like the designer purse pets people fawn over the cuteness, the contrivance, and the surface wonder of the creation looking no deeper than the cliched traits (e.g. rhyme). Nevermind that the personality of the dog itself is profoundly neurotic and nearly impossible to live with.

(Because of the emphasis on the desired trait is so exaggerated...those who own dogs with that trait, but not in the overwhelming doses have to deal with the fallout of the cliched mindset.

Husky coloring or blue eyes means your dog loves people! e.g. All poetry has to rhyme. The rhyme because of its exaggerated presence in a piece becomes the only thing anyone notices about the piece. Rabid teeter-toter. Up and down sing song that borders on Seussian.)

Functional. The good old Heinz 57, down to earth, good with kids, still flawed dog. It is a great fit for its family, but is in no way remarkable. In poetry, these are the pieces that say exactly what they mean, and mean the world to their authors, but are not memorable to readers. Innocuous without being obnoxious.

What are your thoughts on the subject and where do you aim to fall on the spectrum of Good, Cute, or Functional?
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Senior Member
Darkin, It's probably no surprise to you that my poetry leans toward the functional, but hopefully without sacrificing too much of the good (in the form of provocative metaphors and "deeper" insights). I think a little show can successfully mitigate a tell, as long as the tell is telling something worthwhile, useful. The hammer can have a beautiful leather cover on its handle, and perhaps even a nice stainless steel shank, but it still needs to drive home an insight into, or example of, better living.