Not a Popularity Contest for Me: A Poem

Updated on May 14, 2019
ValKaras profile image

Val enjoys writing poetry by always leaving a message of a life truism in each piece.

Image by Isuru Prabath from Pixabay
Image by Isuru Prabath from Pixabay

I'd say, it's something most writers believe

we should write what others want to read

and that is why I am not likely to achieve

readership that writers apparently need.

While not knowing most of you out there

how can I lie that I had "you" in my mind

so let me be just honest and perfectly fair

I don't consider reader's taste of any kind.

It's your choice, not mine, that you're reading this

I just express myself, and you may like it or not

so you don't take any part in my writing bliss

regardless of how I appreciate you a lot.

Worrying about "my popularity" I'd be market-minded

which would surely make me competitive of a kind

I simply can't turn to become success-blinded

seeing others' popularity with jealous mind.

I see others' poetry getting some nice viewing

but that doesn't motivate me to write their way

not because it's beyond my ability of pursuing

but it just wouldn't be me at the end of the day.

Once that you've made the contact my poem is alive

otherwise it's only there in sort of "potentiality field"

and until then it doesn't matter how much I strive

the choice is yours, till then poem is concealed.

Poet's popularity has its ups but mostly its downs

for you never know when your tiny star will glow

as poets are merely a bunch of circus clowns

giving artistic touch to grand human show.

Questions & Answers

    © 2019 Vladimir Karas


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      • fpherj48 profile image


        3 months ago from Beautiful Upstate New York

        Val......As long as I breathe, I will always have something to say....because I have a decent brain and a talent to communicate. I truly enjoy learning and an important way to do this is to listen to what others have to say. Life is one huge give & take....share and share alike.....You do your thing, I'll do mine and we can smile as we go on our separate ways. "It's takes zillions of differences to make up the humans we live among".....and this is as it should be. I would not prefer to live in a world that is filled with clones of one another. How totally boring and senseless.

        When it comes to my own writing, my readers quickly realize who I am, what I believe, the basis of my slant on life, complete of ideals and lifestyle. I write from my heart and all that guides my mind and body. If there is some other way to express myself, I'm happily unaware of it.

        It's safe to assume that my readers are those who understand, appreciate and enjoy my bodies of work. Certainly, if they do not.....they may move on to the multi-billions of writings available to all of us. Better yet......they're free to write their own!!

        And that's the name of THAT tune, my dear Sir, fellow-writer!! LOL Have a great day, doing whatever makes you smile! Paula

      • Jodah profile image

        John Hansen 

        3 months ago from Queensland Australia

        Hi Val, you echo some of my own thoughts here. While I admit that I love getting comments here and knowing that people enjoy what I write, first and foremost I write to please myself. I hope there are people out there with similar tastes, and if there are, they will be on board.

        I gave up submitting my poetry to contests or publishers years ago as they always find fault with my work. I was told by one that they could understand how my writing and subjects would be popular with some readers, my poetry “wasn’t perfect.” That mad me laugh, as how do they define perfect? If it is counting syllables in each line..well, I will never be “perfect” unless I am specifically trying to replicate the rhyme scheme and syllable count of another writer’s specific poem.

        A follower here, and fellow poet recently also told me that the flow of one of my poems wasn’t perfect and made some suggestions saying he knew I was a perfectionist and would appreciate the feedback. I do welcome constructive criticism so I changed the poem as he suggested, and probably counted the syllables in the next two I wrote. That is never my priority however, it just needs to sound and flow well when I read it aloud to myself.

        Keep on writing the way you do. Those that matter (like Dana, Tim and I) appreciate it lol.

      • ValKaras profile imageAUTHOR

        Vladimir Karas 

        3 months ago from Canada

        Tim -- Thank you, your comment could be a nice introduction to the poem. When they say "Beauty is in the eye of the beholder", it actually stretches over any existent, or nonexistent, criteria of what makes a poem beautiful.

        To me it's simply fun of expressing a thought, a position, in the form of a poem. Something that I could have written an article about instead. -- but didn't, since I noticed how even books could be written in few pages, the rest are fillers to make for a big volume.

        So, instead of writing an article, or using an even shorter form of a "proverb" -- there I go putting everything into my rhymed poems. I even enjoy creating my slant right margins.

        But, as the poem is saying, I have absolutely no ambition to please anyone's but my own taste. When I click on "Publish" I am just curious about people's reactions -- definitely not worried about it. I value my nerves so much, that if "worry" would be a part of it, I would stop myself from writing.

        Well, fun is even bigger because English is only my second language.

        Thank you again, Tim, you must be some fine dude, I like the way you are reasoning about this stuff.

      • Tim Truzy info4u profile image

        Tim Truzy 

        3 months ago from U.S.A.

        Thanks. Written like the truest of artists. One of my favorite poets is John Ashbery, and he was never popular in his lifetime. For that matter, the writings of Shakespeare were considered "trashy" during his life time. Early rap music wasn't considered art until dollars signs started rolling through. Native American poetry; social justice poetry; poetry by modernists - all undervalued.

        In short, we can't please everyone, so we have to please ourselves because to write in any other way would be to undermine the sincerity we would want to communicate in our work. That's what these writers/artists understood, and you expressed it well in your poem. Respectfully, Tim

      • Dana Tate profile image

        Dana Tate 

        3 months ago from LOS ANGELES

        I do agree with you. I'll never forget when I entered a poetry contest and there were some people who didn't like my choice of words. They felt the words started off beautiful but ended up sad. So they started suggesting words I could use instead.

        I was a new writer sharing my poems for the first time and insecure, I took some of their suggestions and won. I didn't celebrate because the work was no longer originally mine and I didn't deserve to win.

        It was a lesson learned and with poetry I don't worry about stanzas or syllables I'm basically expressing myself and hoping people will like it or relate to it. The weather for the last few days has been gloomy. I looks like it will rain but doesn't but its not cold so its still good.

      • ValKaras profile imageAUTHOR

        Vladimir Karas 

        3 months ago from Canada

        Dana -- I appreciate all comments, because, first, all of them have been good-natured -- to say the least without bragging -- and second, if people took a moment to say those words of appreciation and praise, I have to respect that.

        But, as the poem is trying to say it, with me it's never about putting cart in front of horse -- I am not after being popular, and that nonexistent wish is not dictating my style. Recently I had a little run with words with a poetry critic who really insisted that I "make my poems technically better", like counting my syllables.

        I am well aware of my writing flaws, but they don't bother me. I don't want to improve anything there, it's me-and-my-flaws, and I don't really give a rat's ass whose eyes get stuck on them.

        So, that's basically what my poem is trying to say. I have noticed that you are an intellectually driven reader with a refined taste, Dana. There are others too, but honest to god, I can't lie that I am thinking of either you or them when I am writing. The moment I start "catering" to your taste, my poems are bound to become mirror of you, not a mirror of me. --- Would you agree with that?

        I just write, and by my own criteria-of-appropriate, some of my stuff is a first class crap --but I still publish it. I am not perfect and neither is my poetry opus, and that's why I am not coming from a stand where popularity is within the scope of my priorities.

        Thank you for your interesting comment, my friend. It must be nice in L.A. this time of the year -- we got a lot of rain. In the last decade every two years of so we visit family there, and I am a nut for flowers and palm trees and blue skies. Only Hawaiian experience has done more for me in that respect.

      • Dana Tate profile image

        Dana Tate 

        3 months ago from LOS ANGELES

        When you are expressing yourself and you have these critics who jump on your page trying to correct you. Of course we "ask for comments," so we leave ourselves open for praise as well as criticism. But You want to say--"Hey, if you don't like what I'm saying, stay the heck off my page!'

        One thing I've noticed is the most popular writers are the ones who don't write too seriously. The one's who are deep or trying to teach or enlighten someone to something are rarely read. I follow some really intellectual writers here and sometimes I am the only one who will post a comment.


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