Nation Afraid To Admit 9-Year-Old Disabled Poet Really Bad
The good intentions of Luke's poetry, coupled with his heartbreaking illness, make it difficult for Americans to recognize and acknowledge the poor quality of his work. The poems are fraught with saccharine sentimentality, slapdash mixed metaphors, and endless clichés involving rivers and the sun.
One example from "What's Most Important," a poem in his most recent book, Offering Of Hopeweavings:
The things that are important in life / Are not wealth and fame / But the sun peering through the clouds / Its light shining on flower petals / And warming a kitten's nose / Making everything beautiful / Because that is what God wants / For us to be happy.
Today I'm going through another round of re-re-rewrites on the manuscript. A dear friend has been checking it for what I call "Cliché Alerts." Originally, I set out to make Reid's narrative voice a bit precocious, like that of a smart yet perhaps overwrought teen whose voice was a bit wordy and florid.
After several friends have read it in-progress, it became clear that some of it was just plain bad! This has all been an interesting experiment, a very different process than my others works. I just hope that in its final version, it doesn't -like the poems of this fictional child author- suck!