Monday, May 5, 2008


Somehow, I let National Poetry Month pass without reviewing a single collection of poetry. In fact, I have never reviewed a single poem for this website. This omission is particularly glaring since at one point, many moons ago, I fancied myself a bit of a budding poet. In fact, I actually wrote an entire collection of poetry for my master’s thesis.

In honor of poetry, then, I have decided to dedicate this entire week to poetry reviews. I know that many people, including myself, dislike poetry or feel intimidated by it. So, to jumpstart the week, here’s a blurb from my thesis about my relationship with poetry:

[S]omewhere between junior high and my freshman year at [college], I learned to despise poetry. Poetry was no longer something to listen to, to memorize, or to enjoy. Instead, it became a sadistic game between poets and students. Billy Collins describes the process in his poem “Introduction to Poetry.”

I decided that only brilliant students or students with emotional depths deeper than my own could understand poetry, and I hated it for making me feel stupid and shallow. . . . [I thought] poets were members of an otherworldly realm. They saw things in life and knew things about life that I could not see and did not know.

Ten years ago . . . I believed good poetry was dense and impenetrable. I have learned, though, that is not necessarily the case. I can read poems and enjoy the images, the rhythms, and the sounds without dissecting them.

For the rest of the week, then, I will review a few collections of poetry I believe even normal people, if you can consider me normal, will enjoy without falling into the depths of despair or exhausting their mental capacities.


notaconnoisseur said...

I had the opportunity to be present when the blogger did a reading of some of her poetry. Other authors/poets read and EXPLAINED their poetry on the same program. When the blogger read hers, her only preface to her poetry was that she felt that good poetry should speak to the reader without any explanation. I totally agree with her comments. And her poetry stands that test. It speaks to my heart without any extra words.

Blogger said...

You are much, much, much too kind to me. Maybe I should actually start writing poetry again--instead of wasting my life blogging!