From the time the Anthology of Poetry by Young Americans included my poem about my pet fish entitled “Our Many Fish” (I know, the creativity is shocking), to the multiple times I’ve included cheesy poems in homemade greetings cards, to the time I actually applied to be a greeting card writer at American Greetings (I know, the fact that I didn’t get hired is shocking), I’ve always jumped at the chance to write poems.
They’re not good poems. But they’re poems all the same, and I planned to write them and thought about them in advance.
Enter job application.
I was applying for a job online that had nothing to do with poetry. I pasted in my cover letter and resume, filled out my employment and education history, and clicked “Next.” Then I saw this:
“Write an original poem of 40-60 words about your current or most recent job.”
What else could I do but write a fairly awful poem on the spot?
Creating copy for a site
Means making sure it’s always right
It must be clear, concise, and strong
Or you’ll find out before too long—
If words are sloppy and message is slack,
Viewers will leave and never come back.
The same goes for emails in this day and age
When spam runs rampant, you need to engage.
And, while I had not planned to write a poem when I sat down to apply to a marketing job, I found I thoroughly enjoyed it. You should give the impromptu poem a try sometime; then send it to me and I’ll compile the Anthology of Poetry by Impromptu Writers. It’ll be fun. Really.
Oh wait, did you click on this post expecting to read some good poetry? Hopefully not–hopefully you know me better. But okay, just in case you did, here: here’s the poem that first made me aware of Emily Dickinson. Here’s a lovely poem I wish I could have written. And, saving the best for last, here’s one of my favorite poems ever that, most days, I feel like I did write. Only it’s way better than anything I would come up with, as you’ve unfortunately just witnessed.