I want to give a shout out to this interview of Buffalo-area poet Herb Kauderer by Mary Turzillo:
MT: So, are poems by nature lies, or only some of them?
HK: That’s a marvelously metaphysical question that
requires secondary definition. Is a lie only a conscious attempt to
mislead? What if the teller of the lie believes it? If the latter is
true, then the teller is not qualified to call it a lie or truth.
I write some poems that are intentional lies in pursuit of a greater
truth. I write other poems that are as true as I can make them at the
time of composition, only to find out that time has turned them into
Therefore a concise answer to your question is, “only some poems are lies, but I’m not telling you which.”