Why Poets Are Poor


I am NOT your Sonia Sanchez, your Langston Hughes, your James Baldwin or Maya Angelou. In fact, my name may never find itself uttered among the world greats. And I’m fine with that. No, I LOVE that.

Not ALL poets are poor, but I think the best ones are. They are the people who still keep notebooks, who carry life, love, frustration, and pain; an endless conglomerate of emotions, a pencil and pad in their purses and suitcases. These people write during lunch, on blog posts, and between rocks and hard places. They are not baptized by the lens of cameras and they publish books because they want to read them.

Yes indeed, poor poets are the best. Though money can be made, I wouldn’t recommend someone dedicate poetry to a career that forces one to write or be restricted to certain topics. I think a good poem takes patience. That one must wait and listen. As a career, this may require one to write on demand. This, I believe, robs the poet of all sincerity, and degrades the passion of his piece. Rainer Maria Rilke said it  best:

“To be an artist means not to compute or count; it means to ripen as the tree, which does not force its sap, but stands unshaken in the storms of spring with no fear that summer might not follow. It will come regardless. But it comes only to those who live as though eternity stretches before them, carefree, silent, and endless. I learn it daily, learn it with many pains for which I am grateful: Patience is all.” – Rainer Maria Rilke