The Doggone Poet by Terveen Gill

Shanta was a poet. At least he thought he was.

He could make words rhyme and place them in separate lines. That was his definition of poetry.

His third-grade teacher had praised his poem – ‘I Love My Mummy’ to the skies. Though there was nothing praiseworthy to it, the teacher’s four-year affair with Shanta’s mother could have been the reason for it.

Shanta’s friends and relatives which totaled to two and four respectively, gave the growing boy a wrong assessment of his talent. So after high school instead of attending college, Shanta picked up a pen and notebook and filled page upon page with verses that had no head or tail, nor rhyme or reason.

Ten notebooks, filled to their pages’ limits, seemed enough to submit to several publishers, but Shanta never heard from any of them. He never thought that his poetry could be at fault. It was more the negligence of insincere professionals.

If no one would print his poems, then he’d simply stand at street corners and sing them.

And Shanta got quite an audience. Seven dogs and a crazy parrot. The dogs howled along while the parrot squawked and flew in circles barely missing Shanta’s egg-shaped head. It seemed humans were a tougher lot to impress.

So like the Pied Piper, Shanta roamed the streets belting out his poetry while his dog following grew in number. They marched behind Shanta like he was their messiah. The parrot perched itself upon Shanta’s shoulder, screaming when it felt like it.

The procession and ruckus were a sight to behold, and people flocked to the streets and their balconies. No one knew the man or the animals, but they laughed and cheered like it was appropriate.

When Shanta stopped to bow and wave, the animals skittered away. The parrot dug its beak into the man’s cheek leaving him bloody before flying away.

The poet learnt his lesson and now never stops his poetry procession. He walks and sings day and night with hundreds of dogs and an annoyed, green parrot. People offer what they can. The man, dogs, and parrot grow fatter.

Turns out, Shanta’s poetry was too complicated for people.

31 comentarios sobre “The Doggone Poet by Terveen Gill

  1. Yes, he is ahead of his time, too nuanced for his contemporaries. So true. It is hard to know if one really has the talent. Art is such a risk–if you don’t pursue it, you might condemn your own talents; if you pursue it, you might be a fool on a futile journey.

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    1. I agree with you completely, Haoyan. I was recently watching a video by a psychologist who condemned the statement that – everyone is creative. He said that this wasn’t true and that being creative wasn’t a bed of roses. Creating something is simply 5% of the entire process. The rest is marketing, finding an audience, and giving them something they’ve never seen, heard, or had before. Phew! A lot of work!
      Thanks so much. 🙂

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  2. I love this as in many ways it is simply a reflection of the truth. Poetry is like styles of clothing. Fashion lasts if it is comfortable and makes women look good. Poetry styles come and go but great works from centuries ago are still great works. Great piece and so very true. Well put Terveen, with some great humor. I hope you and your family get some great time off for the holidays. Sending appreciation and congratulations on the on line publication of MasticadoresIndia. 🤗 Joni Happy Holidays

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    1. Thank you so much, Joni! I truly cherish your wishes and pray that you and your loved ones have a blessed Christmas and new year. I love the comparison of writing to fashion. It doesn’t suit everyone and what fits one may not fit another. It’s pretty much subjective, but bad writing can’t be camouflaged for too long. Haha! Take care and much peace, love, and joy. 🙂

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      1. You are so welcomed. You made me laugh yet again. “But bad writing can’t be camouflaged for too long,” so very true.

        I wanted to congratulate you on your wonderful success with MasticadoresIndia. For the holidays I hope you take time off and enjoy your time with family and that your Christmas is blessed as well. You take care as well. Sending peace love and joy back. Hugs Joni

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  3. Damn! A four year affair?! Lol! I like how Shanta is only one letter off from Santa and you even have a messiah mention. I don’t know if that was intentional, but it’s still fun. I appreciate you giving him an audience that loves him like he’s a singing dog bone. I think he would’ve had better luck with publishers if he told them it was poetry for people. Maybe they didn’t get the memo. Oh well. I guess Shanta is destined to walk and walk and walk. 🙂

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    1. Tony, your comments are always so thoughtful and a mixture of what’s been, what is, and what might be. Shanta could be a spin-off of Santa. He is appealing to the dogs, so that’s definitely a brownie point for him. I hope he walks, and walks, and walks and his poetry never stops. The humans will just have to accept that they ain’t smart enough. Haha! Thanks so much! Take care. 🙂

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