A poet I'm not
For nearly a decade, I have belonged to a writers workshop in the Florida retirement community where I live half the year. We have about a dozen regular members and meet twice monthly. About another dozen residents occasionally show up at our meetings. A couple of the members have had professional writing experience. The others regard their writing endeavors as a hobby and, obviously, as a source of creative pleasure.
At our meetings we read our own handiwork and critique the work of the others. It's all handled courteously and in good humor, and we have become a very congenial social group. Both non-fiction and fiction is offered for discussion.
A considerable amount of the work discussed is poetry. I've never been a devotee of poetry. I regard poetry as a very specialized type of writing for which I have no talent. And I will confess that I have never fully appreciated poetic output.
But I stand in awe of those who do write poetry, and I am impressed by the highly skilled work that many of our workshop members produce.
I recently recalled that I did once write a poem myself. But I have not dared to read it for serious discussion at our workshop meetings.
For posterity's sake, however, I will expose my poetic creation here.
When I returned to New York University after my Army discharge in 1946, I was enrolled as a journalism major. Curiously, the journalism department was then housed in the university's college of commerce, where I was obliged to declare an academic minor. I selected marketing even though, in all candor, I consider it presumptuous that marketing is considered an academic discipline.
The only marketing class that I did find interesting and challenging was one in advertising copy writing. Shortly before the class began, Coty, the world-famed beauty products manufacturer, introduced a new fragrance named Muse.
One class assignment that I still remember was to produce an advertisement for the new Muse perfume. I don't know whether our professor had any business relationship with the company, but he evidently considered the project professionally relevant and topical.
That's when I turned to poetry-writing for the first and only time in my life. This is what I wrote:
Was it said by Homer that no man can refuse
The come-hither aroma of Coty's new Muse?
Oh no it was not a maxim of Homer,
But of truth there's a lot in this quip on aroma.
More than 60 years later, I'm proud to reveal that I received an A-grade for my poetic creation. I have never had the inclination or courage, however, to write poetry again.