This, above all:

This, above all: To be God's best for The Coach and for Anna

Sunday, June 03, 2007

Poetry, by hook or by crook

I took to reading—and truly enjoying—poetry rather late in life. Away from the classroom.

To me there are three kinds of poems: those I can enjoy without creating another frown line; those I revel in for their sound, sense and sensuousness; and the
many that make me think I should just stick to fiction.

(
Of course there is the obligatory Rilke and Neruda*, every other yuppie's must-have poetry for brown nosing or bluff sophistication. The rule in cocktail conversations: When all else fails, bluff.)

I wonder if, when I struggle over poetry, I am one of those Billy Collins mourns over in his
Introduction to Poetry:


But all they want to do
is tie the poem to a chair with rope
and torture a confession out of it

They begin beating it with a hose
to find out what it really means


I'm still scratching my head over some portions of Whitman's Song of Myself. Some time ago I downloaded his poetry into my iPod, and I probably looked funny frowning in concentration inside the crowded MRT coach, his words pouring into me, and I barely hanging on to the pole and my sanity.



* A lifetime ago, drowned in heretofores and Know All Men By These Presents, I thought Neruda was a friend of my cousin Aris when my cousin’s poetry referred to Neruda's Tonight I Can Write The Saddest Lines. Oh, the shame.

** Photo borrowed from someone else's site in one of my Net trawling trips. Can't remember whose, unfortunately.



1 comment:

radueriel said...

i like neruda.

i luv cumings.