slum magazine

“Our dreams are a second life.” ~Gerard de Nerval

How Second Life Poets are Killing Virtual World Poetry

by Skylar Smythe, excerpted from her blog

One poem does not a poet make.

Neither does two or three. Even if it wins you the pixel hearts and admiration of avatar babes with long flowing dollarbie hair and blingtard scanty silks. Classy eh? But for people who are serious about loving poetry (and I am) it is painful to watch what is happening to the literary community in Second Life.

Did all the good people leave? Seriously? Did all the great writers and poets who created countless works of original inspired poetry leave? There are very few of them left. And I know because one of my favourite things was to attend poetry readings (from dawn to dusk) in Second Life every single Sunday. I marked my calendar on it. I always made time for it because I would revel in the creativity and expression of brilliant writers from around the world. What a joy to hear them! The accents and new perspectives. Cultural diversity!

I was absolutely one of many vocal speakers and supports of spoken word in Second Life. Then the bottom fell out to be honest with you. Some great writers left. Others withheld their works for publishing perhaps and were less willing to share original things for fear of losing first rights of publishing on their blogs or note cards within Second Life. Poetry reads which were so much fun became dog and pony shows and cliques focused more on “self-grooming ego” than quality writing.

I would not consider sharing a poem at the same poetry read every week. To me that would be offensive to my audience. There are some poets who have very impressive talents and yet choose to recycle the same great poems over and over and over and over and over and over …. and over again. It is boring. I’ve heard this stuff. It was impressive in 2008. It’s beyond boring now.

What have you written lately? 

What new forms have you engaged in? How hard are you working to evolve your craft. Do you do it just for fun or are you a serious writer who dreams of being published? Because if you are here is a reality check. Writing is a constant evolution of skill. It is a muscle you develop over time. A craft to be honed. So please don’t call yourself a writer if you wrote three poems in 2008 and have been using them to get “pixel laid” prolifically since then.

Write something wonderful. Make the Second Life literary scene something to be proud of again. Bring original stuff to your poetry read. Practice it before reading. Do your microphone checks. Have some fucking pride in the performance of Spoken Word because truthfully offline you would be laughed out of an establishment for bringing lame, poorly performed shit to the microphone. Sorry. It doesn’t cut it

I’ve been reading my poetry live for two weeks now (offline) and my heart is filled again with admiration and love of Spoken Word. We used to have that quality in Second Life once upon a time.

How about we bring it back?

And then I’ll get that stuff together for the Lindens that was requested of me. A poster advertising the amazing weekly Spoken Word festival that occurs from dusk to dawn in the virtual world of Second Life. But don’t ask me to promote it until you show me you have pride in it again. Until then I’ll keep sharing my poetry in forums and Google+ Hangouts and Skype groups where I find writers that still have pride in their performance and written word.

Ponder it, poets. It’s a dying art unless you bring your A-Game.

March 23, 2012
The Microcosm of Ms. Skylar Smythe
The dating, mating and random speculating of a real world girl…


About slummagazine

slum magazine is about all things Second Life: art, music, news, reviews, shopping, love and life.

4 comments on “How Second Life Poets are Killing Virtual World Poetry

  1. Jullianna Juliesse
    August 15, 2012

    Hmmmm…..I have read this blog post before and quite honestly don’t wish to see it again. Perhaps the author needs to take a little long hard look inside herself and think about what she is criticizing, and then who she is endorsing inworld. Just my two cents, from a humble dilletante.


    • Cycling back one year later, there are many poets who continue to read the same 2-6 poems over…. and over…. and over again 🙂 As for my A-Game, I write 2-3 new poems per week. I perform a minimum of two NEW poems per week (as I have since 2008.

      As as someone who is employed full time in the field of creative writing, published and an established pro-blogger I do humbly feel my point had and has merit. Which is why the quality literary events (online and offline) encourage new writing, creation and mentoring of writers (and editing).

      The author having been a steady fixture in the Second Life (and offline) literary community, eBook author with personal blog views that exceed 25,000 unique visits every month feels quite confident her opinion is a valid one. It’s also supported by many other quality writers, educators and moderators in Second Life.

      The poetry events I have moderated for the past five years have been warm, welcoming and positive events where writers of all skill level have been encouraged to create. I have also taught four groups the twelve week course on The Artist’s Way by Julia Cameron to encourage others to write, as well as mentored more than six writers privately into paid content writing.

      Sorry I am just seeing this now or I would have replied far sooner. I will definitely address any future comments directly.


  2. Jullianna Juliesse
    August 15, 2012

    Oh ya, and when have you bought your A game to the table?


  3. Anonymous
    July 31, 2013

    One poem does not a poet make,
    Nor any object of our thought,
    It all surmounts to be fake,
    Through which a creation is naught.

    On and on and rolling forth,
    Sat the thoughts of fiddler fine,
    Til in the present he hath caught,
    Sweet tune of harmony divine,

    And yet ’tis so that fortune begot,
    No less or more than a poor man’s wage,
    And Ha! And Ho! For all thought’s queer lot,
    Diff’rence never taught them; man or sage.

    No matter, all of Sol’s creation,
    Fret not ‘pon glory or wisdom endow’d,
    For all were made in celebration,
    Light, despite the space’s shroud.

    (All poetry belongs to the United Verse and thus should never be pinned to a single entity. None are isolated.)


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This entry was posted on July 14, 2012 by in Fiction & Poetry, Reviews & Opinion and tagged , , , .


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