Smorgasbord Posts from Your Archives – #Potluck – Serious poetry is art but is it too elitist? 2013 by Joy Lennick

Welcome to the  Posts from Your Archives, where bloggers put their trust in me. In this series, I dive into a blogger’s archives and select four posts to share here to my audience.

If you would like to know how it works here is the original post:

This is the last of the posts this series, from the archives of author and poet Joy Lennick, although certainly not the first post that we have enjoyed here on Smorgasbord from this entertaining writer. This post by Joy, written in 2013 is on the subject of poetry and explores the distinctions between what is considered serious poetry and that which is written by us mere mortals!

Serious poetry is art but is it too elitist? 2013 by Joy Lennick

While I personally know and have the utmost respect for Migel Jayasinghe and appreciate his intellectual mind and poetry tips, taste is subjective, whether one is reading poetry or a novel.

Unfortunately, not everyone lives on the higher plane more erudite folk occupy, and I have grown up in the knowledge that there are and always have been lesser and greater mortals and minds on our planet, and long may that be the case. Indeed, where would the world be without intellectuals!

However, it must be agreed that many of us, even those with the keenest desire to learn, assimilate and ingest knowledge, can only digest so much. And the point is, do us ‘others’ want to get bogged down in often dense, ‘difficult’ poetry that, even after three readings, remain a conundrum. Regardless of which level of poetry one aims to write or read, the subject is vast, especially for the really serious scholars, and this is where Migel scores.

However – while not quite the village idiot – my own intellect seems to hover somewhere in the middle…Loving words as I do, I am perfectly happy with that and enjoy writing fairly spontaneous, sometimes witty, sometimes serious poetry. That’s not to say that they all ‘just happen’ without thought – be they simple poems or those of a more complicated nature. However, while I always bow to the clever use of words – the poetry I mostly favour has a pleasing rhythm and musicality and either amuses, entertains or informs me.

While my particular poems, which are varied, may not satisfy the elitists or academics in our midst, I have had numerous poems published in newspapers, magazines, anthologies and in book form over the years, so they must have appealed to someone. I dislike distinct ‘divisions’ – after all we share this unique planet whatever bright or low wattage our brains transmit and should all try to work together to make it a better, happier place to live – but it cannot be denied that there are intellectual divisions. When it comes down to it, it’s a bit like an intellectual teaching a dog to dance. The dog may be able to master quite a few steps, but he will never manage the tango. More’s the pity…

Fully aware that we are all as different as night is to day and tastes vary enormously, there is a need and room for IT ALL. But heaven save me from having to constantly thumb through a dictionary (or ‘ask Google’) while I’m dissecting a dense poem! Viva la difference!

Sally here:  On that note here is a poem also written in 2013 that has all the right words in the right order for me…..I watched with shock and horror on that day in 2001, thinking that it was a very strange time of day to be showing a war movie… all around the world people still remember..

Anyone who cares about humanity – and there are, fortunately, billions of people who do – couldn’t fail to be horrified by the terrible acts of terrorism which happened in New York on that dreadful September day in 2001. To all survivors, families and friends of those affected, take heart that many people really do care, and still remember. My own ‘unbelieving’ reaction was to write the following poem”:Joy Lennick

THE AFTERMATH OF 9/11 by Joy Lennick

Long after eulogies have been said;
guilt and recriminations have been put to bed –
cherished memories float on battered minds
that lift the spirit, and a kind
of healing process then begins.
Dry-eyed: the well is spent –
a limerick is found…
a loving note he meant to send.
A breeze-born waft of jasmine
and she is there…
A burnished copper leaf
reminds you of her hair.
A favourite walk, café, a tune…
memories held so dear.
You pray that time will not prune
too much and leave the futile fear
that one day, the memory of their
earthly presence will all but disappear.

©Joy Lennick 2013.

About Joy Lennick

Having worn several hats in my life: wife, mum, secretary, shop-keeper, hotelier; my favourite is the multi-coloured author’s creation. I am an eclectic writer: diary, articles, poetry, short stories and five books. Two books were factual, the third as biographer: HURRICANE HALSEY (a true sea adventure), fourth my Memoir MY GENTLE WAR and my current fiction novel is THE CATALYST. Plenty more simmering…

A selection of books by Joy Lennick

One of the reviews for My Gentle War

I found this book totally enchanting, not just for the way it was written (which was completely original being unfettered by any rules on writing and therefore delivered with great feeling). It evoked some long lost memories from my childhood, of family forgotten or misplaced by faulty memory. I thought of my grandmother clasping a homemade loaf of bread under her arm, giving it a good buttering, then with a large bread knife, sawing it off and setting a ‘doorstep’ sized slice free for jam or honey to follow. I wasn’t born at the time of the war, which doesn’t spoil any of this account and although I know it from history books and oft heard tales, was not a good time to live through, yet I’m left thinking there was another side to these times, told here with great fondness. Sometimes I think we’ve lost a great deal for all our modern ways. This is a lovely book and worth a read. Pat McDonald British Crime Author.

Read the reviews and buy the books:

And on Amazon US:

Find all the books, read other reviews and follow Joy on Goodreads:

Connect to Joy


My thanks to Joy for permitting me to share more of her wonderful posts from her archives and I hope you will head over to enjoy many more…Thanks Sally.

24 thoughts on “Smorgasbord Posts from Your Archives – #Potluck – Serious poetry is art but is it too elitist? 2013 by Joy Lennick

  1. Thank you for sharing this thoughtful post by Joy. From Chaucer to T.S.Eliot and modern poetry, I have struggled and sailed through poetry to discover how much it has been simplified to suit our own emotional needs! Joy’s poem sends vibes of healing. Beautiful!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. This post immediately caught my attention when I saw it come across my email because I have been thinking about poetry a lot lately because it seems to be moving in so many different directions since the advent of the Internet. Some serious poetry seems to be written by poets in the Academy for other poets in the Academy, almost as an intellectual game of Catch Me If You Can. For me, if I want an intellectual experience, I’ll read a peer-reviewed journal article about literary theory or the evolution of poetic form, in which terms are defined and there are explanatory footnotes. I read poetry to have a visceral, sensory, and emotional experience, in which a single moment in time is brought into such sharp relief through language and the poet’s own sensibility that from that moment forward I carry it with me as a defining moment in my own life.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Love the poem! I write poetry that I think is quite accessible. It’s my style. To me though, difficult and experimental poetry is a challenge I love. And you know what? You do not have to understand every word or image in order to enjoy it. Poetry can work on different levels, emotional, intellectual. And, in the spirit of Hercule Poirot: why not “encourage those grey cells to work a little?” Have a great weekend everyone!

    Liked by 2 people

  4. A wonderful poem. For me, accessability is the key to enjoyment of poetry. I’m happy to delve deeper and find layers of meaning through repeat readings but if I don’t have any understanding on first reading I tend to give up at that point.

    Liked by 2 people

  5. Pingback: Smorgasbord Blog Magazine – Weekly Round Up – New Sunday Interview, Old Protagonists, Classic Music, Distinquished Guests and Pick ‘n’ Mix. | Smorgasbord Blog Magazine

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