by Stu Leventhal
The seemingly simplicity of many of our beloved poems can be deceiving. Often many hours of thought go into perfecting a few lines or a single phrase or stanza which we, the audience, take for granted. As a form of art, artists, in this case, poets have been known to fret for days on end over their search for a single, perfect word; similar to the painter who agonizes over the perfect shade of green and blue with which to highlight a portrait’s eyes. Sometimes poets work on a poem for years before being satisfied enough to proclaim it is finally ready to share with the rest of us.
Poetry, as literature, like all types of literature, gets tougher for an author to express oneself the shorter the written piece is due to the less amount of words one can use and the less time available within which to deliver ones ideas fully and in a way they can be shared and totally understood by others. Generally, creative writing and especially poetry is a contradiction to the natural and easily understandable assumption that a shorter piece of text should be less difficult to complete than a longer piece of text. But, because they are a considerably artsy format of literature, poems are much more complicated and sophisticated than they at first appear. Poems bring true meaning to the quim; large things sometimes come in small packages. The message portrayed through a few lines of quality poetry can deliver a powerful wallop of meaning and insight.
"I am disgraced, impeach'd and baffled here,
Pierced to the soul with slander's venom'd spear,
The which no balm can cure but his heart-blood
Which breathed this poison." - Richard II, Shakespeare