Monday, January 15, 2007
Why Do Poets Only Read Poetry?
To tell you the truth, the only book of poetry to make it on my Top-Five Books of All Time is Wild Iris. I enjoy reading a good military history like The Making of the Atomic Bomb or a good sci-fi like Dune or a good mountaineering book like K2: The 1939 Tragedy or a good archiological book like Gateway to Atlantis. I like reading. It is not betraying my poetic sensibilities by reading these, it is merely adding to my arsenal. It makes me a stronger writer to figure out the techniques or patterns in words that make us laugh, sweat, scream, cry, believe, and most importantly suspend our disbelief. Poetry is so dense that sometimes I am very energized by it, but mostly I'm just bored. I grew up reading Tom Clancy. That's not the first thing I expect a poet to say in an interview. I expect Byron, Shelley, Eliot, Thomas, Dante -- not Clancy. For God's sake not Clancy. Why not? The man has found a formula that works and works well. He has found a couple of characters that interest him enough to keep writing about. Good for Clancy. I have since stopped reading him for other reasons, which I will not go into now, but I still go back and read some of his older stuff sometimes. I think I read poetry least. I just want to react to the words, not rehash what others have already said.
Posted by Anonymous the Younger at 1/15/2007 08:15:00 AM