What Is Wrong With Calling A Poem A Poem?

I cannot understand, and may never understand (unless someone can explain it convincingly):  why are some of the members of this wonderful site afraid to call a poem a poem?

It is not a write.  Write is a verb, so, if that term must be used, the noun form would be more proper:  writing.

It is, maybe, baby talk?  "Gee Mommy, in pre-school today, I wrotes a write."

But why not just plain old POEM?  What is wrong with that?  It is more economical than "write," (one less letter for the fingers to keyboard), it is a proper noun, it is the proper name of the vast majority of items posted here, and---God bless some people's ignorance---it is the time-honored term that has been used for hundreds of years in this language, and descends from the Greek language, the same language in which Christ's Gospel was declared throughout the Roman Empire.

Why can't we call a poem a poem?  What is wrong with that?  Please, won't someone explain it to me.

I wonder---and I am just speculating---does the word "poem" threaten or intimidate some of those who prefer to call it a "write?"   Do they use the word "write" because they need to reduce the poem in stature, because that stature overshadows their own posted ____ (well, I won't use the first word that came to mind to fill in that blank).

Do you think Vergil introduced The Aeneid to the Emperor Augustus as an "epic write?"  Do you think that Dante, John Milton, Stephane Mallarme, T. S. Eliot and Wallace Stevens published "writes" instead of poems?

Please, somebody explain this to me.  I have been reading Poetry since April of  1973, and writing it since August of 1994.  When and why did a Poem become a "write?"  And what the hell for?



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georgeschaefer's picture

Call it anything

There's nothing wrong with calling a poem a poem.  There's also nothing wrong with alluding to verse with other terminology.  I'm a poet but I'm also a philosopher, a prankster, a writer and would be raconteur.  Some things I write in poetic form is philosophical expression.  Sometimes, I'm a prankster trying to pull the wool over people's eyes.  Other things I write in poetic form are probably pieces of flash fiction.  Of course, most of it is poetry but truthfully you can call it anything.  I'll respect each individual's right to call their poem a poem, a piece, a write, a ditty or whatever floats their boat.

S74rw4rd's picture

Thank you for that

Thank you for that perspective:  I appreciate your comment very much.