Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Tuesday Poem

I'm the editor for this week's Tuesday Poem entry. Check out Paul Hunter's poem Talking Mean here.

Here's a teaser:

I'm interested in how poetry collides/intersects/accompanies the varying landscapes of our living. It's one thing to listen to a poem being read in an auditorium, at a podium, with a microphone. It's another thing entirely to hear that same poem read, say, on a wild Pacific Northwest beach, or in the poet's kitchen, or in the bar that Theodore Roethke frequented. I don't believe that a poem should exist only in the rarefied atmosphere of academia. Although long a safe haven for poetry and poets (myself included), poetry needs also to live the life of the working-class individual. I've seen people frightened away by poetry, certain they would not understand it. (Admitting to being a card-carrying poet is a guaranteed crowd silencer.)

And remember: don't take yourself too seriously.


  1. The ballet dancer Dame Margot Fonteyn wrote in her autobiography 'To take one's work seriously is essential, to take oneself seriously is disaster'.

  2. Anyone who believes poetry is only ever serious needs a healthy dose of Mr. Lear.

  3. Yes, there is a perception among many people that poetry is the preserve of the rarified air of academia, but before the emergence of popular music that could be recorded and propogated far and wide, poets were as popular as Dylan and The Beatles.

    I love hearing about how Byron was like the Mick Jagger of his day and how fervent lovers of his work would queue at the book shop when his latest work was available.

    Feminists "reclaim the night". Perhaps poets should reclaim the everyday. And by everyday I don't mean mundane.

  4. Ben Hur: thoughtful comment there.

    And I don't mean the mundane either.

    Thanks for stopping by.