Story #3– Why we have poets.

(c) Stephanie Nikolopoulos

“So you’re a poet?” I asked; an impish smile played at the corner of my lips.

“Alas, that I am!” He said, perhaps in the hope of finding some favor form his newly sworn Love.

“Alas? But why alas?”

“Because this poet has lost the poetic element which resided in his heart, when he lost his heart to a lady beautifuller than art. Little did he know that the barter system too had long lost its importance.”

Beautifuller? Ha! A fine substitute for ‘more beautiful’.”

“Not a substitute, it’s the only word there is.”

“Beg your pardon, Monsieur Love,” I said in a mocking tune, “but methinks that you have little idea about the false play of poetry. You may, if it pleases you, rhyme me into a thousand verses, citing the beauty of my eyes. But be cautious, for eyes speak lies.” I was contented, thinking that I’ve put him down.

“If I were to write of the beauty that I see in front of myself, I would banish all words from the dictionary before they dare shame you, for none of them mere words stand anywhere close.” Passion commanded his entire self.

“See? This is exactly what I have been trying to tell you all along. I’m wise and I pray the Almighty grant wisdom to all the ladies and keep them at a safe distance from your poetic bait.”

My words were harsh, but perhaps not even half as harsh as the reality.
I continued. “You have not the slightest idea that while you are here playing the false dice, the world is suffering in this running saga of life. To introduce you to the reality, there are people out there who are dying because they’ve been denied the basic necessities of life. A large population of the world still has not got a crumb of bread to feast their stomach upon. No water to quench their thirst, no cloth to cover the bust, no bed to rest their tired souls, no shoes to guard their bleeding soles. And here you are, talking of poetry!”

I took a deep breath, wondering whether I’ve said too much. “Look, I don’t want to come up as rude and uncouth, but poetry, it is an escape, a hindrance in the vision. All it does is bar the truth and beautify the reality.”

“Perhaps that’s the reason why I chose it.” He whispered. Then he turned around and left without uttering another word.

That did not make any sense to me. At least not untill I had learned about his horrifying past.


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