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Reading Between the Lines


Ghost writers, whiter shade of pale,

but which is shade, witch poltergeist

as long-dead poets read again,

in relived lines, past death reversed.


Those deadlines met before obits,

in time re-hearsed, All Hallows Eve,

their moving finger, writ moved on,

prophetic call, the poet’s wall.


Fake news, or license, take your pick,

like Xanadu, by drug induced;

so post replies of sympathy,

make me a cheat in poetry.


What should I do, hoax history,

my story read, testimony,

when it is observation, sole,

revealing truth, though whole excised?


So should I cease those stanza works

assumed biography in genre,

reel story nearly as if real,

as would a patron, could for cash.


It is a novel way to write,

to weigh each word, exactitude;

a bio, graphic, not allowed,

though permit issued, verse aloud?


Because dilemma recognised

should I set warnings, trigger so?

And where would Dewey have me be -

some friction in veracity?


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The ability to truly empathise and walk in the shoes of another is what makes great writing. I guess with poetry, for the reader, the lines can become blurry as to whether the writer is describing their own thoughts and experiences or that of another. Does it matter? I don’t think it does - what matters is that the reader connects with your writing. If the poem was there with no acknowledgement as to who wrote it, I think people may not necessarily assume it was about the poet. It’s just when you know that person and a poem evokes a reaction, particularly one of sympathy, not to respond with concern in the event it may be the poets own…

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Quite right, in all you say! I have felt guilty at some expressions of sympathy (though, again as you say, in some cases appropriate and appreciated) but it's impossible for reader to know.... One hardly label pieces with "Not Me!" So, thanks for that reflection.

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