Saturday, June 25, 2011

Does it wake us up?

Over the past few months, I've pretty much fallen away from all things "poetic." I'm trying to get back on track, but I've been immersed in an addictive relationship to political blogs while trying to figure out what the hell is wrong with the American public. As in, why is this country so DYSFUNCTIONAL and downright INSANE?

Or is it only me? In an effort to break out of this funk, I've been catching up with a few poetry blogs. Imagine how happy I was to find this bit of wisdom over at Lemon Hound:
Life is complicated. If you’re looking for doily making, contemporary poetry is no place for you. In order to write poetry one has to be immersed, and then pull back.
Well, okay. I've been immersed in the complications of contemporary life and I'm currently in the process of trying to pull back. Because I need to find a FOCUS if I'm going to make any sense of this world and write some poetry that reflects that sense. But--assuming that I'll be successful (eventually)--what do I want this poetry to look or feel like? Lemon Hound has an answer for that too:
Over on the CBC Canada Reads book talk the other day a poet said that contemporary poetry “terrified” her students. Wow, I thought, what is she reading? I want some of that. Because I don’t think there’s enough poetry out there terrifying us. Or making us feel, or think.
For my part, I guess it comes back to a question of thinking. Is the poem offering us a way to think about something? Does it wake us up? Because it seems to me, that’s one of poetry’s great tasks.
As far as I'm concerned, that just about sums it up.

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