Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Sean Finney's "The Pens"

This short prose piece from Canteen pokes fun at the profession of a poet, referencing how silly poetry slams are and how all the poets act exactly the same. The fact that is incorporated in this literary journal, along with poetry, is rather comical and ironic. It is mostly a rant about how poets behave at these readings and how they perceive themselves as great individuals, when they actually are just snobs.
This rant the author goes on comes as a result of his fear of releasing his poems to the public and having to participate in these dreadful poetry readings. Finney claims that he believes that only Shel Silverstein, Maya Angelou and Billy Collins make money off of their poetry books, which is presumably another reason he does not care to share his work with the public. He concludes with his opinion of calling himself a poet, and how others would perceive that. Despite the fact that he finds it to be a nice title, he thinks others would merely laugh at him calling it his profession. So, admits, that as a professor of creative writing, his works of poetry will remain for his eyes only.
-Julie Kelly


Popped said...


This piece sounds like so much fun. I think everyone has that image in his or her head of the silly poetry slams and poets taking years to read one line. In my mind these poets are always wearing scarves and occasionally read the poetry with their eyes closed. I'm not sure why.
I also think it is really cool that this piece was published next to poems which probably have been or will be read at some kind of poetry reading. I wonder what those poets thought of this piece, but then again, the author of this piece confesses to writing poetry, he just isn't brave enough to share it like the other poets are.


Popped said...

Please tell me that he wrote this piece in poetry form? Because then that would truly be ironic. I am a little confused as to whether or not the feeling of poetry slams being a more "higher than thou" type of experience is your opinion or his, but either way, I really get the playful nature that I feel is wanted by the author. I am incredibly interested to see just how he wrote this piece because I can picture the irony dripping off of its pages, if his conclusion is that his work should simply be left for himself (ironic then, that he would publish something in the first place...).

- Jennifer A.