Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Poetry meme

Seen first at Light Reading, started by Cam.

1. The first poem I remember reading/hearing/reacting to was:
On my own? Must have been in a terrific poetry and art anthology called Talking to the Sun, which juxtaposed poems with photographs of art from the Metropolitan Museum of Art. I loved the whole book, but flipping through it now (yes, I still have on my bookshelf), I see that there's a pencil mark next to "Jabberwocky." I also remember liking Williams' "Poem":

As the cat
climbed over
the top of

the jamcloset
first the right
forefoot

carefully
then the hind
stepped down

into the pit of
the empty
flowerpot

, which was on a page with linographs of cats; and Dante Aligheri's sonnet (translated by Kenneth Koch, an editor of the book) "Guido, I wish that you and Lapo and I...," on a page with Manet's painting Boating.

2. I was forced to memorize (name of poem) in school and..
I had to choose a poem to memorize for Odyssey of the Mind tryouts at the end of third grade, and I recited Frost's "Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening." I made the team, so must have been OK.

3. I read poetry because I've already read it. That is, the poetry I most enjoy reading is poetry that I'm re-reading, so I don't have to concentrate so hard, which makes thinking about the poem easier.

4. A poem or poet I'm likely to think about when asked about a favorite is Apollinaire or Donne. And I've always been infatuated with Wallace Stevens, whose "Rabbit As King of the Ghosts" remains appealingly unfathomable to me after many re-readings.

5. I don't write poetry, but I used to until high school, when I got out of practice. Then, my junior year, my English teacher had us write poems imitating other poems (a Sexton poem about a witch, a sonnet), and I grooved on that.

6. My experience with reading poetry differs from my experience with reading other types of literature because it's slower. No plot=no forward movement. I'll reread the same lines over and over. That's why my first readings of poetry are usually painful, and my later ones are so exciting.

7. I find poetry underappreciated in my academic department.

8. The last time I heard poetry I was playing a CD recording of it at a conference presentation I was giving. It took a while to find the right spot on the CD, but once the reading started, the audience seemed to get into it.

9. I think poetry is like a bath. I wish I had time to take some more often, but my tub is kind of dirty, and it would require effort to clean it. But it's so relaxing once you've stepped in.

3 comments:

Publius said...

I miss poetry a great deal, actually. For some reason I never seem to have that moment of inner quiet that it seems to require.

Jenny Davidson said...

You know, poetry IS like a bath! I took several baths in the last few weeks, using my bathtub for that purpose for the first time EVER; only recently (after 7 years living in this apt.) realized that the, you know, metal spike thingie that comes out of the floor & looks like a bicycle pump is the way of plugging the drain....

Bardiac said...

Oh, this is a good one! I'm going to pick it up!