Monday, November 27, 2006

Poetry Meme

Hobgoblin has tagged me with Cam's poetry meme.

  1. The first poem I remember reading/hearing/reacting to was a silly kid rhyme:
    Fuzzy Wuzzy was a bear. Fuzzy Wuzzy had no hair. Fuzzy Wuzzy wasn't fuzzy, Was he?
    My Grandma had these tiny children's books that were the size of matchbooks. There were twelve of them and they lived in a little box. I was probably about six. My sister and I loved these little books and would sit and read them over and over while the adults talked. I loved the Fuzzy Wuzzy poem. I also loved this one:
    A peanut sat on the railroad tracks, his heart was all a flutter. Along came Engine Number 9, Toot! Toot! Peanut butter.
    I'll bet my Grandma still has those little books too. I'll have to ask her.
  2. I was forced to memorize (name of poem) in school and........ I didn't have to memorize poetry in grade school unless you count a few Shakespeare speeches. But I enjoyed reading poetry on my own. My sister and I had to take turn washing dishes and when it was my turn she would sit in the kitchen and keep me company and make me memorize poetry. I memorized A Visit From Saint Nicholas and still know it and recite it to her over the phone every year on Christmas Eve. I also made a valiant attempt on Poe's The Raven. I think I made it through the first half of the poem before we both got tired of it. I don't recall much past the first few lines. When I was in college I had an undergrad survey course on British Romantic poetry and I memorized Wordworth's Tintern Abbey. We did not have to recite the poems in front of the whole class, thank goodness. We had to go to the professor's office one, by one and recite. I got an A on my recitation in case you were wondering. However, I don't remember a word of the poem anymore.
  3. I read/don't read poetry because.... I read poetry because I love the feel and sound of the words. I love the surprise of a poem. And I love the way so many powerful ideas and emotions can be packed into such a (usually) small thing.
  4. A poem I'm likely to think about when asked about a favorite poem is ....... Transcendental Etude by Adrienne Rich. Every time I read it I feel so large. I also think of Emily Dickinson's poem, can't remember the number, but it's the one that starts, "To make a prairie it takes clover and one bee"
  5. I write/don't write poetry, but.............. I don't write poetry except for an occasional haiku. I used to write it all the time when I was a kid and especially when I was an angst-filled teenager. That was when I thought a good rhyme was the key to a good poem and I didn't care if it didn't made sense so long as it sounded good. Now poetry writing is much too much of a serious thing and there are others who can do it better than I can so I am happier reading it than agonizing over writing it.
  6. My experience with reading poetry differs from my experience with reading other types of literature..... because there was a stretch of time from about my junior year in high school to my senior year in college when I lost confidence in my ability to read poetry. I became afraid that I was missing something important, that I didn't know what was going on, that I had been fooling myself about poetry for all those years and it was more than I could handle. I never lost confidence in my ability to read and understand prose. If I read prose and didn't get it, I blamed the prose or the teacher or something else, never myself. But with poetry, for some reason, I blamed myself. Am I ever glad I got over that!
  7. I find poetry..... miraculous. A poem can contain worlds, create worlds, destroy worlds. A poem can move me like nothing else can. I can read the same poem over and over again and each time there is always something new there I didn't see before.
  8. The last time I heard poetry.... was about a month ago when my Bookman and I went and heard Tess Gallagher read at the downtown public library. A poem doesn't truly come alive until I've heard it read. And if it is read by the author, all the better. Sometimes my husband and I will read poetry to each other. He'll be cooking dinner and I'll pull a book at random off the shelf, flip it open to a page and just read it out. Or we'll be relaxing on the sofa and he'll take a book off the shelf and read a poem to me. We also have recordings of poets reading their work that we listen to from time to time.
  9. I think poetry is like.... a box of chocolates. No not really. I wanted to have some fancy, poetic metaphor, but I don't think of poetry in that way. To me it's like nothing else. It is only ever itself and that's all I ever want it to be, nothing more, nothing less.
Anyone else want to give this wonderful meme a go?