I’m not a poet, but at least I know it

Ooh. What a way to start off a post–the lamest joke in the book for a title. I apologize.

In the realm of writing, poetry is definitely not my forte. My rhyming poetry usually comes out only a few steps above “Roses are red/Violets are blue.” Take last year’s Christmas poem, in which I resorted to rhyming “Dickens” with “chickens.” It nears the epitome of a literary train wreck. If my rhyming poetry is lilting and childish, then my free-form poetry sounds like Harry Potter banging his head against the wall and saying “Angst!” repeatedly.

(The reader would be interested to know that I just wasted about half an hour re-watching all of the Harry Potter Puppet Pals videos when I went to look up the one to which I made a reference above.)

Here’s a sample of said “Angst Poetry.” I called it “Metamorphosis II” and it took me about ten minutes to write.

Let me tell you a story about a caterpillar.

It was really quite ugly

And stupid

And disgusting

and it hated itself as much as everyone else hated it.

Then one day it decided it was going to kill itself

So it wrapped itself up

And hung itself from a twig

And waited oh



For death.


At length the wrappings


Encasing the caterpillar in its own wretchedness

Fell away, and a beautiful butterfly was revealed.

Everyone loved it

This butterfly

For its talent

And flair

And charm.

The butterfly was happy. It was glad to leave its caterpillar self behind.

that was over.

It was content.

Then another change came over the butterfly

It wanted to be


It couldn’t find itself

Underneath all the flash

It was lost.

It wanted to change itself back.

So it wrapped itself up again

And hung back up from a different twig

Where the remains of the last time

Were still visible.

It waited for weeks.



The change.


The wrappings fell away

And the butterfly tumbled out.

It hadn’t changed back into a caterpillar


It wasn’t the same.

It was weak.


A monstrosity.

It was avoided by everyone else

But it felt right.

This is who I am

Said the ruined butterfly.

It’s better than before

And better than the start

Even if I’m crumpled

This is me.

And maybe a ruined thing can find a way to be beautiful, too.

The butterfly was wrong.

It died within the hour.

 Ahem. So, even though poetry isn’t a strength of mine at the moment, I’d like to try to add it to my repertoire as a writer. Prose is all well and good, but poetry is a different kind of expression, and it fascinates me.

Are any of you poets? As for the prose writers, do you dabble in poetry as well? What are your thoughts on poetry vs. prose?



7 responses to “I’m not a poet, but at least I know it

  1. That made me laugh. Equating metamorphosis with suicide is brilliant. And the bittersweet ending… perfect.
    I’m no poet. Not by any stretch of the imagination am I a poet. I manage a few poems if I must. I can pass at couplets, I fail at limericks, and the one time I attempted a Dr. Suess-style poem I couldn’t end it. And it was long. And horrible. I’m definitely not a poet.

  2. What a dark and sad twist. My poetry always turns out to be depressing (mostly because I’m depressed when I write it, I guess) and it’s definitely not as interesting as yours!

  3. Oh, the stupidity of caterpillars…….and yes, Potter Puppet Pals are a VERY easy way to waste half an hour. Speaking of which, I should go do.

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