Had an interesting dream last night, during my 13 hour sleep. I dreamt that I was on a space cruise in the distant future – much like the space cruise in The Fifth Element, in fact, very much like it. I was with my wife and we had a floating space dog (bit like a Border Terrier but in a space suit).
On the space cruise, I entered into a Poetry competition – something I have never done in real life. The poetry we were competing with was not written down on paper – it was directly beamed from the mind of the poet so that the ‘reader’ experienced the poem just how the poet meant it to be experienced. Sort of projecting their dreams directly into the readers mind. It was a battle of emotions, from sheer wonderment to profound melancholy. It really was the most fantastic dream.
When I woke up from it, it made me think. How can poets compete (outside of slams)? Yunno, submitting written work in the hope that it will be deemed suitable to win a cash prize. After this dream it seems incredibly facile. That is all poetry competitions are – competitions to see who can have the best dream and impress the judge with it.
I did not become the space cruise poet laureate.
I do not have anything against verse – I used to host Poems, Prose & Pints – I am a published poet. But it is the idea of submitting written work, something you cherish and have spent hours deliberating over, to be judged by someone that has not experienced the same emotion. I suppose this is the sign of great verse – letting the reader experience the emotion of the poet. But why judge it?
I had a fantastic time in my Space cruise dream, but it means very little to anyone else. I had a great time writing poetry, but it means very little to anyone else.<