Thursday, March 03, 2011

Does Anyone Read Poetry Anymore?

...a valid question in this culture of digital overdose.  Besides Literature students and depressed teenage girls, is anyone reading poetry for pleasure?  I think they should.

I’m sure being an English teacher has something to do with it, but I truly believe the average American citizen needs more poetry - or at the least, more exposure to poetry.

A poem that truly speaks to you is like a painting, a beautiful song or sunset – it speaks to a place in your soul that nothing else can touch. Beauty is essential. Art is a soul’s oxygen.

Every Thursday, I’ll do my best to bring the goods - poems that make me smile, make me sad, or just sound good.

Maybe you will discover a poet that becomes your favorite….maybe you’ll even try writing poetry yourself.

I’m going to kick-off this gig with one of my favorite poets, Mary Oliver, who wrote this awesome line:

“Tell me what is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?”

And this one:

“To live in this world, you must be able to do three things: to love what is mortal; to hold it against your bones knowing your own life depends on it; and, when the time comes to let it go, to let it go.”

I Want to Write Something So Simply

by Mary Oliver (from “Evidence” 2009)

I want to write something
so simply
about love
or about pain
that even
as you are reading
you feel it
and as you read
you keep feeling it
and though it be my story
it will be common,
though it be singular
it will be known to you
so that by the end
you will think—
no, you will realize—
that it was all the while
yourself arranging the words,
that it was all the time
words that you yourself,
out of your own heart
had been saying.

1 comment:

Amy Jane (Untangling Tales) said...

*Lovely* poem.

re: your question. I read poetry.

I call it "thought pizza" b/c I consume it when I don't have the energy to make my own (fresh thoughts) but I feel faint without regular consumption.

Every now and then I trip over a new one I decide I *need* to memorize and I found one two days ago that I've been thinking on ever since.

I like what I've read of Mary Oliver (an excerpt from her is in my sidebar) and I'll be considering the one you put up here as the next on my list.

Thanks for sharing. I doubt I'll ever be this close again to discovering a poem and the year it was published.