In the spring when the kings go off to war . . .

July 1913. "Gettysburg reunion: Veterans of the G.A.R. and of the Confederacy, at the Encampment." Harris & Ewing glass negative.

July 1913. “Gettysburg reunion: Veterans of the G.A.R. and of the Confederacy, at the Encampment.” Harris & Ewing glass negative.

“All men seek happiness. This is without exception. Whatever different means they employ, they all tend to this end. The cause of some going to war, and of others avoiding it, is the same desire in both, attended with different views. This is the motive of every action of man, even those who hang themselves.” Blaise Pascal, Pensees

Random Opinions About Poets, Short Story Writers and Novelists

 

Goats eat up short stories.

Goats eat up short stories.

A farmer once told me that sheep farmers were elitist pastoralists interested in landscape and art, cow farmers were salt of the earth types and goat farmers were fun-loving and crazy. But what about writers? Today I want to generalize.

Poets are the ones who say they do it for the art and don’t care about publication. They LOVE words and like sharing them at small critique circles. They dress funny.

Short story writers take themselves very seriously. They’re impulsive. They’re blunt and they cut to the chase. They wear sneakers.

Novelists do things no one knows about for a very long time. They have other lives, lots of secrets and have the feeling that they’re in the world but not of it. They forget to shower and dress up only if they get discovered and they WANT to get discovered.

Okay so I just made this stuff up. My best friend in high school was a poet and dragged  a shoe around with him. He died young and had no time to stop being pretentious. So what do you imagine are the differences between poets, short story writers and novelists?