poetry sunday was born of my simple belief that poetry can enrich your life. I have a BA in English but found during my undergrad years that even my peers -- fellow English majors -- were either indifferent to or expressed outright hatred of poetry. I started thinking, what's up with that?
I've come to the conclusion that poetry is really misunderstood; somewhere along the line, people started believing that in order to appreciate poetry you need to be snooty or extremely refined or an ivory tower academic. Or all of the above. Even college kids think this! It's a shame, because a lot of poetry is unpretentious and accessible.
People hear the word poetry and immediately have flashbacks to their school days, when they were forced by a despised teacher to memorize and recite longwinded poems by dead white guys. Poems that they probably couldn't relate to. Poems that students better not dare to have a divergent interpretation of because aforementioned teacher would take pleasure in pointing out the ways that the startling assonance and ironic motifs and the ___(insert pretentious literary devices here)____ render it certain that the teacher's innately superior interpretation is correct. Ultimately, these are the poems that read as bloodless, energyless, lifeless because there was no longer any contextual connection between the poem and its modern reader.
So trust me, I totally get that for a lot of people, poetry is associated with work, not pleasure. But here's the thing: it doesn't have to be that way.
Good poetry is poetry that connects to the reader. My tastes will differ widely from the next person, which is wonderful. We don't need homogenization. Exposure to vastly different works, always testing yourself to see how your tastes are shifting -- this attitude will open up your world.
So, here's how poetry sunday works: Each month I'll pick a new poet and feature a poem of theirs each Sunday for the duration of the month. I will post poems that I think are thought provoking -- not necessarily a poem I like, though most likely I will! Be warned: I tend to enjoy contemporary poets, female poets, and feminist poets, so you'll probably see a lot of that here.
JUNE 2011 - Marge Piercy
- June 5 - "For two women shot to death in Brookline, Massachusetts"
- June 12 - "A day in the life"
- June 19 - "What's that smell in the kitchen?"
- June 26 - "It breaks"