I apparently won Poeta Atlantiae, rather to my surprise. Despite what several very sincere and lovely people were telling me yesterday, I don't especially think of myself as a poet.
I apparently either need to revise my self-image, or my definition of poet.
Poet, to me, conjures up all that lovely Apollo-and-the-Muses stuff, the inspiration, the vision, the transformation of the pedestrian into the transcendental. And I don't do Muses. I have an aversion to the idea of Muses. It comes with being a control freak. I want to write when I need to write, Muses be damned.
If I had to pick a word to describe what I do, it's "wordsmith." It's utilitarian, like smithing. Somebody needs a poem written; they provide some gemstone of material that's the subject or theme of the poem. Then, I craft a setting to display that gem, using a poet's tools of rhythm, rhyme, form, and so on. I will readily admit that there is a degree of artistry that goes into creating that setting, but the major thing - the gemstone - comes from the client. The rest is figuring out how to show it off to best advantage.
Every once in a while, I might stumble across a stone on my own and want to set it. That's true, but it's rare. I don't have the stereotypical pressure of messages and images in my head, trying to get out, that spurs me to write at all hours of the day and night. I construct messages and images to carry the content other people request. And they really are gems: stories of love or selfless service or inspirational deeds.
I'll have to figure out what I want to do with the position, what to make of it. It would be easy to focus on too many different (and important!) things that the Poeta can do to advance poetry in the kingdom, and not make any headway on any one thing.