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

then the hind
stepped down

into the pit of
the empty

, 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.


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!