During the recent holiday period I was conducting research for 2017 blog posts when I stumbled across a discussion asking whether the title of poet should be restricted.
There were some contrasting views, with one stating anyone calling themselves a poet should be distrusted as, “poet is a title necessarily bestowed on you by others.” Some participants suggested you should only use the term if you were a poet and wrote poetry as a full-time occupation.
Most English dictionaries describe a poet as someone who writes poetry, but is it as simple as that? For example, do you need to have had poetry published, or written a poetry book or won a poetry competition, before you can allude to the title?
In my younger days, I was once told by a teacher to beware of anyone who called themselves an expert or guru as people, labelling themselves as such, had stopped learning. Again, it was a title to be bestowed by others. Is it the same for poets? Can someone who recklessly uses the term poet be at risk of arrest from the Poetry Police, or is being a poet something to be shouted from the rooftops?
Are you happy to call yourself a poet, or would you rather let others use the title on your behalf?
I would be interested to read your thoughts.
If you would like to read more from the discussion, click on this link at Magma Poetry.