Subversive Poetry Reading at the Local Library

Mother and DaughterSo it wasn’t a great turnout. I believe there was a fish fry/ revival that pulled a lot of our regular members away…or not. However some folks showed up and we talked poetry. We read Elizabeth Bishop’s In the Waiting Room and then Addonizio’s Salmon. Had a nice discussion about that sweet moment where we are the fish, we are the ceiling, we are Teddy pouring the milk and the milk being poured. Why are some poets successful in getting us to make that leap, to see ourselves in other people or other objects even, and others…not? We read the Red Dress poem and I think that was a favorite. Talked a little Literary Theory and then we all went home. I kicked about reading more Elizabeth Bishop for the rest of the day and dreamed about talking fish that night. Another day in Cheyenne.

Published in: on March 20, 2007 at 4:22 pm  Comments (1)  

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  1. I think a greater question than why some poets write poems that allow you that leap and some poets do not is why some blogs have “about the author” pages, and some blogs do not.

    Okay, seriously, I don’t spend a lot of time talking about literary theory. (I’m too busy talking about plumbers, and shopping carts.)

    But I think the simple fact of the matter is that you’ve got the question all turned around. All poems sing to someone, and therefore all poems are good (even if the only person to whom any given poem sings is the author).

    It is not a question of the ability of the poet. He or she has done his job by simply writing the thing. But the ability of the reader to make a connection with a person or thing one would not usually connect with? That’s the key, I think. Perhaps the reason more people don’t enjoy poetry is that they’re uncomfortable looking at their own selves closely enough to see those connections.

    (And don’t even try to argue with me on this one, because I am the proud owner of a degree in English Language and Literature, from a very fancy university. I’ll just pull that out if there’s gonna be a tussle. Don’t make me go all highbrow on you.)

    Your pal,


    P.S. Call me.

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