My brother, the poet: A meditation on the nature of poetry

I recently received an email—in the form of a poem—from my brother.


The Sister’s Poetry



self absorbed people with time on their hands

sylvia plath

i have to throw up now

pretentious. arrogant. boring.

dear poets, no one gives a shit

sincerely, the world.

the mother calls

to read the sisters poetry

sigh. speakerphone while i jab this knitting needle into my eye

the words are about the house

where we grew up

the words reach my ears

but don’t really connect

on account of the blood from my eye

the mother reads it again

this time i listen

i did not hate the sister’s poem

maybe i like these words

they are interesting and make me feel things

they are not pretentious, they are not arrogant, they are not boring

clearly this is not poetry

glad i got to the bottom of that


I think he needs his own blog, yes?

I was going to get into an essay about how his poem encapsulates the problem with poetry and expectations about poetry…blah blah blah…and then I was afraid I would turn into, well, Sylvia Plath. So I stopped.

Well done, brother.

And I love you, too.