A good poem transcends its story. It's not enough to tell what happened and "tell it true." The poem should evoke a feeling, something the poet experienced and is not sayable, the reader comprehends.
In his book The Hatred of Poetry, Max Lerner explores the aversion to this art even by poets, Marianne Moore saying, "I too dislike it." He asserts that the ambition for a poem is not realistic. Responding to an interviewer in the Paris Review (June 2016), he discusses the reaction of readers: "The non-poet is still haunted by the idea that you're a poet by virtue of being human," adding "to say you're a poet is to say you're more human than they are." My hope for my poems is that they can activate a meaning for the reader through the mystery of language not possible in prose, perhaps even a redemptive experience.
Neva Herrington is a poet and former educator. She is currently working on a new book of poetry, a collection of short stories, and her memoir. Her inspiration comes from her own experience and the work of other poets.