Of Poems and Awesome

Another blog post, you say? When will this bounty of awesome end, you probably don’t say? Well, I did just find out that my readership is up to 3 people (yes, 3!!! And each one gets an exclamation point) and I mustn’t keep the people from what they want. So, I decided that I would celebrate a very special event (okay, so I am going to go ahead and give away my oldness here, but does anyone remember Blossom and how in the later seasons every episode was a very special episode of Blossom according to the previews? Well, this blog is kinda gonna be like that, only actually special.) which is going on over at Women in REDzine (WIRZ)….We at WIRZ are hard at work putting together the very first issue of the newly revamped magazine. AND it’s a special staff only issue which means it contains so much awesome that I’ll be surprised if it doesn’t glow like the Lost Ark (well, hopefully, not quite like that as that didn’t end so well for people who saw it)….So, maybe, it’ll just give off this really impermeable air of cool…. But, anyways, before my mind drifts any further from the matter at hand….So, basically it will be the best thing ever that has been printed and bound, so if you my precious 3(!!!) readers happen to be at a festival where WIRZ is showcasing our awesome then you should most definitely pick up a copy.  Reading it will be the literary equivalent of climbing into a big, comfy chair with a  mocha and and a piece of marble cake with orange frosting (or, you know, whatever is your idea of bliss). It will contain some of the best fiction and poetry ever.

And this brings me to my actual topic: poetry. I hates it! But sometimes a poem is so freaking good that I, for a brief millisecond, won’t hate poetry. I feel ridiculously lucky to work on the staff of WIRZ alongside some of the best poets that I have ever had the luck to meet and to read. So whenever I think about how much I love their poetry I always come up with the question of why I hate so much of other poetry. When I was a kid I had tremendous love (see, I’m using the past tense, but please know that this love stays strong to this day) for Ted Hughes’ Ffang the Vampire Bat. I also have read Seamus Heaney’s Beowulf and verse translations of Le Morte D’Arthur. And I love them. But, the majority of poetry just strikes me as not something that I enjoy reading. And, what makes this hatred worse, is that I can’t figure out why I have it. Okay, occasionally, I’ll stumble across a poem that makes me want to race outside and jump up and down with absolute excitement, but that feeling is rare (the Paul Guest poem that begins “Almost I rushed from home to tell you this…” is one example of a piece that gave me this feeling). I have some poets who I adore, the aforementioned Guest, some of the WWI poets such as Ivor Gurney and Wilfred Owens, quite a bit of Alice Notley’s work, Jesse Ball, Ander Monson, most of Nick Lantz’ writing, but still…..I feel like I should really LOVE poetry. I write it, certainly, but I don’t like writing it. When I write poetry I’m always struck by how much it seems to be an act of exorcism for me. It’s like I’m not really even involved and, frankly, that disturbs me (did anyone see that old horror movie about the pianist whose hands turn against him? Yeah, it’s kind of like that). This, unfortunately, leads to me being unable to revise poetry in any way because I feel like I’d be revising the work of someone else… So, questions for my three(!!!) readers, are there poems out there that will make me change my mind about poetry? Is the fact that I’m being “possessed” by poetry more or less frightening then if I was possessed by a giant chipmunk? And should I go ahead and join PHA (Poetry Haters Anonymous) or can I solve this on my own?

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