I am one of those people who reads poetry, who buys poetry, and who even attempts to write poetry. (Brag--I had a poem published in Alimentum this year!) It seems like it's time for me to get more serious about my enjoyment of poetry.
This month, the only requirement is a quick meme.
Why do you want to join for the Poetry Project?
For the reasons I stated above--I do read poetry and want to read more of it.
Do you have a favourite poet?
Many. Sylvia Plath (especially the poems she wrote to her children), Sharon Olds, Naomi Shahib Nye, Jude Nutter.
Hopefully this will go longer than a year. Do you have any suggestions for themes?
Mmm, no. Guess I'm too new to this project.
What are your experiences with poetry in the past? Have they been positive or negative?
Both. In college, it was somewhat tormenting--I majored in English, and oh, the agonies of dissecting a poem. At least back in my day (yes, I am old enough to say that), there was no emphasis or interest in just enjoying the sound of a poem. It had to be analyzed, word by word. There are plenty of poems that benefit from that, of course, but they don't all need to be treated that way. As an adult, rediscovering poetry has enhanced my overall reading and writing life. There is no more compact form of communication.
Tell us about a poem or poet that has had a profound effect on you. If you can't think of a poem, how about a song? Or a line from a story?
I've probably told this story before, but bear with me. Growing up in rural northern Minnesota, I read what the typical teenager of the time read, forgettable YA romance books with titles like Betty Jean Prom Queen. When I was 14 or so, some new people bought the house near ours for use as a summer home. They were impossibly exotic--from New York City! Good heavens. They had a dog named Gamila, and sometimes they would ask me to care for Gamila when they were gone on side trips. Once, as payment, they gave me a copy of Sylvia Plath's Ariel. There was certainly no going back to Betty Jean Prom Queen after that.
What frustrates you about poetry or the way we talk about poetry?
As if it's all or nothing. Either you like all poetry, or you don't like any. We don't treat any other form of literature that way--I love literary fiction, but not everything in that category is going to appeal to me. Same with any other kind of writing--sci fi, essays, memoir, whatever. Readers should be willing to try different poets and different forms of poetry before writing it off.
Tell us something about yourself that has nothing to do with poetry!
What do you want to know? Ask me in the comments and I'll answer.