Games Poets Play

The writer, formerly mythologiser, prophet, or at least specialist on love and death has become expert in subtle and wayward intellectual sophistries. Of these, poetry games are the most advanced. Often they are acknowledged only at a subconscious level - but the reader is always the innocent victim (see Tag below.) The modern reader is no longer content with easy forays into Spot the rhyme or I spy with my little i. A range of sophisticated after-dinner-party games have emerged Poets live in fear of the moment of 'Switch' which allows 'the player to move out of the game by choosing to express his authentic need directly.' This is sometimes expressed by the words: "This poem is crap." Pre-empting this ploy is so important that it has engendered a new genre - post-modernism.


By Tim Love/Helena Nelson
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Updated May 2002