“Real” brain. On the whole, because the
“Real” poetry is written by “real” poets. I will use an argument similar to what Socrates uses in Plato’s “Apology”:
If you get shot in the stomach, do you post on facebook: “Oh, hey guys! Lol, I just got shot in the stomach?? What do I DO!? xD”?
Or do you go to the ER? Obviously you go to the ER. If you have a horse, but you don’t know how to train it, do you just figure it out or do you work with a horse trainer? When your teeth were crooked, did your family twist your teeth straight with pliers or did you go to a dentist? If you want a painting, do you go to an painter or a random person on the street?
If you want quality, you go to the professional. You go to an expert. Why should poetry be any different?
“Real” poets, then, are experts in poetry. They have learned the rules of poetry well enough to work within and around the rules. Poets have control of the language to the extent that they use language in an unexpected way. Poets use the fairly simple tools of poetry to express unique ideas or feelings. Those ideas and feelings are dependent on UNIQUE perspective.
Sure, everyone might have a unique perspective, but if they do not have sufficient tools, their work will be mundane. Sadly, because poetry is not as cherished as medicine, we, as a culture, have lost the ability to appreciate poets who perform a sort of rhetorical surgery. Poets work with a body of experience, feeling, and thought, isolating malignancies, suturing the heart, and repairing the brain. On the whole, because the average person does not see the effort put into poetry, poetry is dismissed. On the whole, because the average person does not care to learn, if they are even aware of, the workings of poetry, poetry is belittled. Poetry is misunderstood. (this can be said about the Humanities as a whole. effectively, I have said nothing)
Because of this, poetry is a window into a person’s experience. At least to me.
I like anything written deliberately and carefully. If I can tell a poem was honest, great. But, if it was honest with little care, I don’t care. If it is simple, make every word ring with potency. If it is complex, make it thoughtfully so. I believe spending time on an idea or a feeling nurtures it to a perceivable maturity.
My favorite poets are Yeats, P. Shelley, and Seamus Heaney. I like Dickinson and Ezra Pound, too. All of what we read was real poetry. Divorce is an example of a simple poem that uses its economy of language well. On Her Loving Two Equally is arguably complex, but, like I said, it is for good reason.
PS: IF WE CALL ANYTHING A POEM, ANYTHING A PIECE OF ART, ANYTHING A WORK OF LITERATURE, ANYTHING A SONG, EVERYTHING ANYTHING, WE ARE CALLING IT NOTHING. THE TERM LOSES ITS DEFINITION AND ITS USE, AND LANGUAGE IS STIFLED IF THERE IS NOT A BALANCE OF AGREEMENT AND AMBIGUITY.