Mike Snider's Formal Blog at the Sonnetarium :
poems, mostly metrical, and rants and raves on poets, poetry, and the po-biz
Updated: 6/26/08; 9:09:42 PM.



AIM: poemando




Click to see the XML version of this web page.

Click here to send an email to the editor of this weblog.


Tuesday, April 27, 2004

What to do about a poem by someone I've never read at all? Never encountered in any context? Never heard of? In bookstores, I'm almost bothered to admit, I open a book to a shortish poem somewhere near the middle, and, if the words are scattered all over the page, I put the book back on the shelf. It does bother me to admit that the next thing I do is to try to scan a few lines and to look for rhymes. I'll read the poem in any case, and, unless I think it's terrible, I'll try a few other randomly chosen shortish poems, but I can't pretend I'm not biased toward metrical poems: other kinds of poems probably have to work harder to keep me reading. Since nothing gets bought unless something knocks me out, I might very well miss that non-metrical knockout just because I stopped too soon.

It's different with a magazine. I open to the first poem and at least start reading, no matter what, and go on reading until 2 or 3 poems in a row have failed to interest me. I might still buy it, depending on how long it's held my interest. If I've liked what I've read so far, I'll probably even read that scattershot poem that closed the book unread, thinking that an editorial staff that's done so well so far might have a real surprise for me. (None has yet, but I'm willing to accept that as a personal problem.) And if I find a knockout poem of whatever kind in the magazine, I'll look for a book by its author and buy it if I can find one—I won't even open the book on the way to the cash register. If I can't find a book there, or if I'm at home when I read that knockout poem, I'll order a book online.

And as the po-blog world grows (just look at that link-list, which I still feel is badly incomplete), I find myself reading a lot of poetry I wouldn't ordinarily give more than a glance, and some of it has been very good indeed. I've ordered some books and chapbooks and feel guilty about not ordering others. I don't exactly know the other po-bloggers, but just knowing something of their attitudes and tastes, and getting a little feel for what I suppose have to be called their voices, makes me willing to read. It's something like what happens when I read a metrical poem by a poet new to me: I feel (probably wrongly) as if I know some of the choices that poet has faced and therefore am a little more engaged with the poem than I might otherwise be.

But there ain't no danger I'll suddenly give up sonnets. In fact, I've been so pleasantly surprised working on the things I made back in January and February that I'm almost threatening to try that near-daily madness again for the month of May, with maybe a little more variety— triolets, anapestic or trochaic verse, terza rima, different line lengths, some het-met. It'd be a good way to gear up for West Chester.

8:56:32 PM    comment: use html tags for formatting []  trackback []

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons License.

2008 Michael Snider.

Click here to visit the Radio UserLand website.

April 2004
Sun Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat
        1 2 3
4 5 6 7 8 9 10
11 12 13 14 15 16 17
18 19 20 21 22 23 24
25 26 27 28 29 30  
Mar   May


Mar 2008
Feb 2008
Jan 2008
Dec 2007
Nov 2007
Oct 2007
Sep 2007
Aug 2007
Jul 2007
Jun 2007 (empty)
May 2007
Apr 2007
Mar 2007
Feb 2007
Jan 2007 (empty)
Dec 2006 (empty)
Nov 2006 (empty)
Oct 2006
Sep 2006 (empty)
Aug 2006
Jul 2006
Jun 2006
May 2006
Apr 2006
Mar 2006
Feb 2006
Jan 2006
Dec 2005
Nov 2005
Oct 2005
Sep 2005
Aug 2005
Jul 2005
Jun 2005
May 2005
Apr 2005
Mar 2005
Feb 2005
Jan 2005
Dec 2004
Nov 2004
Oct 2004
Sep 2004
Aug 2004
Jul 2004
Jun 2004
May 2004
Apr 2004
Mar 2004
Feb 2004
Jan 2004
Dec 2003
Nov 2003
Oct 2003
Sep 2003
Aug 2003
Jul 2003
Jun 2003
May 2003
Apr 2003
Mar 2003
Feb 2003
Jan 2003
Dec 2002
Nov 2002
Oct 2002
Sep 2002