Thursday, March 10th, 2011
6

Reading Poetry for No Reason

"In college, during the time that I went to a college that had majors, I thought mine would be English, so I took a poetry class because it was required. The professor had long, long center-parted flat brown hair and was rumored to be going through a divorce. The celebrity she most closely resembled was the farm wife in the painting American Gothic crossed with an Aubrey Beardsley engraving of the Lady of Shalott. (This is how I thought about things at the time.) We read poems by women poets who were dissatisfied with their domestic lives, or by Randall Jarrell posing as one of these women…. Everything about the class (including me) was a cliché, but I do remember enjoying it, and actually that I remember it at all speaks volumes in its favor."

6 Comments / Post A Comment

boyofdestiny (#1,243)

I like this. It seems like a common sense and easy way to dip one's toe into what is, for most of us, a very intimidating pool. But I think we should also be less concerned with being seen as a poseur. If you like Jay-Z, you like Jay-Z. No big deal.

lotsoftreble (#2,715)

I like Elizabeth Bishop and I do not feel like a poseur.

dntsqzthchrmn (#2,893)

Is it intimidating or is it that so often it feels like smoking banana peels?

dntsqzthchrmn (#2,893)

Also, LOL Randall Jarrell posing. But he was a much better critic / kid's book writer than his poetry might lead you to expect.

Having read 30 poems in a month and then four books of poetry in a week doesn’t make me an expert on anything, even my own taste.
Gouldian wisdom for a gray and stormy day. Good stuff.

Mr. B (#10,093)

I’ve discovered that 10 minutes of reading poetry — any poetry, even poetry I don’t love, even just skimming my eyes over it on the page without bothering to translate it into prose if its meaning is obscure — can negate up to half an hour of mindless browsing of the Internet.

That reminds me …

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