Saturday, April 19, 2008

Poetry Month, for better or for verse

If it has three lines and a frog, it's a Haiku.
Poets read prose differently.
Poets today write not about history, but about time. Not time that has passed, but time that's ticking, ticking right now.
Dogs have voice. And how.
"Borrowing" from another poet is a professional courtesy.

I had the pleasure of hearing former Poet Laureate Billy Collins two nights ago. He was speaking as part of a local book festival, a week of literature, featuring poets and novelists and more, bringing readers and writers together. The grand statements in the previous sentence were all stolen from introductions and brochures; none are original. But if I'm to take Mr. Collins' word, though it was given with a sardonic smile and a knowing glance, I can consider it Professional Courtesy rather than plagiarism.

If you asked me to pick a favorite poem out of the evening, I couldn't do it. There was so much to enjoy in his work and his short pieces of banter in between poems, I'm left with a tone, a mood, rather than a single favorite. There were times I thought a poem could have ended after a few lines; the message was that strong, that clear. But as he read on, the poem took shape and lived, pulling us listeners along a new path.

I haven't written or posted anything new since then; I'm rather basking in the warmth of hearing a professional, a creative and intelligent poet reading and expanding on his work.


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Blogger Flea said...

I envy you your ability to enjoy poetry. With the exception of limericks, poetry escapes me.

4/19/2008 8:42 PM  
Blogger Mama Zen said...

Three lines and a frog . . . I love that!

4/20/2008 7:27 AM  

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