Sunday, December 24, 2006

Sandra Says I'm It

Since Sandra tagged me and lately I’ve been thinking about how poetry can become a career---though that whole concept seems a little oxymoronic. I remember when I just wrote poems because I liked it and I had no intention of publishing. I don’t even think I was aware that you could write a book or how one would go about that. And I certainly didn’t know anything about literary journals. Especially after Erika told me there were only 22 tenure track positions this year, I kind of miss my blissful ignorance. I’m actually thinking about some other options---things that I would like to do and since the new year is approaching, I figure I may as well investigate. I’m thinking about an MFA in fiction, going to culinary school, and doing yoga teacher training. I’m slating the yoga for June right now and the rest, I’m going to have to investigate a bit more.

The first poem I remember reading was William Blake’s The Tyger. Those lines haunted me and I kept repeating them to myself. Almost like an incantation, though I don’t know what I was trying to bring up. It was just magical. I may have to go back and really start thinking about my own syllable counts.

I was forced to memorize numerous poems in school…not so much. Only lines from Romeo and Juliet and Macbeth. Also, the Declaration of Independence. And all states and capitals. But the best was Mrs. King, my 6th grade English teacher who taught me the famous preposition song!

I read poetry because I do. There is just something magical about a poem, but I think I’m beginning to say the same thing about fiction. I enjoy getting lost in another world. It’s transporting to read.

A poem I'm likely to think about when asked about a favorite poem---Jane Kenyon’s Otherwise. It reminds me of all the possibilities---how your life can shift, that there are always options.

I write poetry, but I think there are too many presses and journals and too many people involved in the poetry business. On one hand it’s great, but on the other, until it becomes more mainstream, I wonder how many people will really succeed at making poetry a living, or perhaps we’re not supposed to.

My experience with reading poetry differs from my experience with reading other types of literature---I don’t think it does.

I find poetry more often than I find the Afikomen.

The last time I heard poetry was a podcast of a Billy Collins poem from somewhere in Illinois. It was a poem and then a jazzy rift. I’m getting more and more into the tech world and so I think I’ll end up listening to more poetry than reading it myself and I’m wondering how I’ll handle the shift from the written to the oral.

I think poetry is like a blackhole. The deeper you get, the more lost you are. Though I was never one who was good at directions.

And now, I tag Reb! Cause I know she likes these internet quiz type of things.


Roonie said...

You would be an amazing yoga teacher.

Fiction is my favorite. I often try to dig my heels into nonfiction, but I find myself returning to the beautiful escapes of a good novel.

Sandra said...

Ah, The Tyger...that's another great one. I actually learned it as a song before I learned it as a poem.

I haven't read much Jane Kenyon, but I'm inspired to go look up Otherwise--

Thanks for keeping the meme going!


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