December 15, 2005

every paragraph larger than the previous. that and poetry

Walt WhitmanI don’t really like poetry very much; I apologize if you are one of those for whom poetry is an important aspect of your life, but I know what I dislike, and poetry has traditionally fallen into that category.

Now, I should clarify: I have no rationale for disliking poetry other than the fact that, on a case by case basis, I’ve discovered that over ninety percent of it doesn’t hit me on a gut level upon first reading, as I have come to expect from music, film, photography, and even the depravities that are web comics.

It is understandable then, that I was caught off-guard during our recitations for ENGL 253 when a poem was recited that my immune system did not violently reject! Not only did I not mind hearing it at that moment, but I in fact wanted to hear it again and perhaps, time permitting, a third just to make sure I had fully grokked the short text.

Now, in place of this post, I had originally hoped to have the content of said poem, but I ran into a bit of a problem, specifically, the author remains among the living. This shouldn’t surprise me, but honestly, it’s been a while since I’ve been exposed to a poem that wasn’t A) Written by a friend, or B) Written by Walt Whitman. Our author’s pulse has proved problematic, specifically because it means the copyright on his work is still valid and, more importantly, legally binding.

Now, far be it from me to criticize the author of a poem for trying to make a living off of his work, but it had simply never occurred to me that I would ever need to pay for a poem. The Sky is blue, the Pope wears a silly hat, USC is going to humiliate Texas, horses are hung like Chuck Norris, and any poem worth sharing is written by a dead guy with expired copyrights. And this is as it should be, not the dead guy part, but the expired copyright part. As little sense as poetry makes in the first place, having poetry that you can’t discuss is right at the top of my list of pointless things, right after Aluminum Socket Cover and Razor-Edged Sheath.

All ranting aside, if you’d like to read the entirely excellent “How I Came To Own The World”, I suppose you had better buy/rent/steal When People Could Fly: Prose Poems by Morton Marcus.

No Comments

  1. Taylor Mali is another fairly good not-dead poet. I especially enjoy “What Teacher’s Make” and “The the impotence of proofreading.” Both of which are available at:

    some day i will take the time to learn some basic html stuff, so i can make that into a nice little hyperlink instead of putting in the whole freaking url. oh well. enjoy.

    Comment by Daniel — December 18, 2005 @ 9:54 pm

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