Saturday, November 11, 2006

11: I even make lists from the heads of fictional people

(But this one is true.)

--I didn't mean to imply anything racist in my ire about red wheelbarrows. I can totally get into the Racial Other in literature! Post colonialist criticism is fun! But if you're going to make arguments for social commentary in WCW, at least do it in more convincing places. His poetry is ridiculously full of social commentary... But race in a poem about wheelbarrows and chickens!? I cannot accept it.

--My favourite teacher/mentor/surrogate mother thinks it's funny when I get irate about poetry, but I worry that it happens too quickly and frequently, and that because of this I should not study it. I try to see all possible interpretations as fairly as I can, to read within historical context, but in poetry I am too hasty to listen to my intestinal instincts when it comes to interpretation -- I fall in love and hate too quickly, I become stubbornly convinced of my own ideas and feelings. I love poetry, but maybe I love it too much to study it fairly. Or maybe studying it on graduate levels would ruin it for me. Sometimes I genuinely fear academia and what it has done to the way I read.

--This is why I am not studying creative writing: I feel too strongly about it in every way possible.

--I say "intestinal" instead of "gut" because "intestinal" is a much prettier and more interesting word.

--While I'm talking about poetry, may I ask a favour of any stray souls who take the time to read this? One of my friends says that she wants to read more poetry but doesn't know where to begin, so I am making her a home-made book of poems for christmas. I am trying to be varied and interesting in my selections, and my few delicious anthologies of international poetry help a lot in this, but all of the poems I am drawn to intestinally are really problematically morbid. Her father just died and I do not want to bombard her with sad poems. I won't leave them out, though; I hate it when people self-censor for sake of my fragilities, and so I refuse to do it myself, but god, I am so depressing in my taste! So will you give me a few suggestions? Sad things are good too. My only stipulation for this homemade anthology is truth. One of my favourite things about poetry is how searingly true it can be, and I want to convey this to her in the book because I want her to love poetry too, even if it is just a little bit.

--I am trying to learn how to bake a perfect loaf of bread. Homemade bread would be number one on my list of Things I Like if I bothered to order my lists. I yearn to be a breadmaster! So far I have wasted an immeasurable amount of raw ingredients and subjected my family to all sorts of awful and mediocre bread.

I don't think I express how thankful I am regularly enough. I'd make a list of things that I am thankful for if it weren't such an obnoxious cliche.


Mrs.Chili said...

Oh, GOD! You want truth in poetry? Go out, right now, and pick up a copy of "Love Alone: Eighteen Elegies for Rog" ISBN 0-312-02602-1. Heartbreaking and beautiful and so worth the time it takes to read it.

I'm also particularly fond of Rilke. You might want to include some strong women voices - Angelou and Lorde spring instantly to mind, but there are many others. If you're making a homemade anthology, put in some of the more recognizable sonnets, too.

This sounds like fun!

Kizz said...

I'm fond of Little Gidding, also this poem about a garden by Swinburne but I can't remember the exact title "Down by the ____ garden...". Billy Collins is fabulous, too. Do some of Dorothy Parker's short pieces count as poetry? They'd sort of lighten the collection.