I write poetry, but I hesitate to call myself a modern poet. Much of the poetry written today is intentionally vague, featuring images that are deeply personal to the poet but not obvious to the rest of us. It may be good poetry and it has its fans, but it is too obscure for my taste. Many readers feel the same and have spurned poetry altogether in favor of more accessible prose.
This is a deplorable situation.
If I promise not to write obscure poems, could I tempt you to read my poetry? Let’s be clear here: what I write is not old fashioned. I always use contemporary English and I sometimes use free verse. I can’t guarantee you’ll like any of it, but you will understand it.
If you’re really feeling brave, check out my book “Finding God: A Poem About Our Quest for a Deity and the Dragons We Meet On the Way,” which addresses the Where-is-God question. That may sound like theology, but “Finding God” is a lot more fun to read. It uses vivid imagery to bring abstract concepts to life (it really does have a dragon) and like all my poetry, it is written in present-day, idiomatic English. Don’t expect a quick read though. This is a thoughtful book about a serious subject. You’ll pick it up when you have a quiet moment, read a couple of pages, then put it down until tomorrow’s quiet moment. It’s that kind of book.
Karen Ulm Rettig is a winner of the 2017 Poetry in the Garden contest sponsored by the Public Library of Cincinnati and Hamilton County.