What Poetry to Read

Whose advice do you take?

Tony Hoagland¹:

To me it seems that my students read too exclusively within their own generation, and that this may be ultimately stunting to their growth and vision of poetry, but it’s hard to say.

Theordore Roethke²:

I recommend that you go, on your own, and immediately, to poets closer to your own age. Some may reflect your own confusions — let them be nameless — read them passionately and critically.

At this point in my life, it’s most important that I read any poetry I can get my hands on. I’ve recently set to memory a Dickey poem, whose rhythm and force is medicine for my troubled mind. I also find reading Prufock aloud therapeutic. James Dickey nor T.S. Eliot are not of my generation, and I’m generally out of touch with poets of my age. One contemporary poet I’ve enjoyed is Michael McGriff. I read Catfish and the Sequence of the Night in American Poetry Review. I will take recommendation for other poets my age that I should read. 

(1) McCoullough, Laura. “Greetings from a Hopelessly Foolish Soul: Tony Hoagland on Poetry and Being.” new south. 3.3 (2010): 199. Print.
(2) Roethke, Theordore. On Poetry and Craft. Port Townsend: Copper Canyon Press, 2001. 200. Print.

Roethke on education; Godin on work

Theodore Roethke from On Poetry and Craft:

Those students get the highest grade who take their responsibilities of educating me most seriously.

I always took the position that my boss (when I had a job) worked for me. My job was to do the thing I was hired to do, and my boss had assets that could help me do the job better.

I like Godin’s idea better than Roethke’s, though I’m not sure why. I don’t necessarily disagree with Roethke though. In my experience, one of the best ways to learn is to teach, so in that sense the better students take seriously the task of teaching the teacher.

Hard Work

Envoyé de mon iPhone

The correct poetic attitude

James Dickey on the poetry of Marianne Moore:

“She persuades us that the human mind is nothing more or less than an organ for loving things in both complicated and blindingly simple ways, and is organized so as to be able to love in an unlimited number of fashions and for an unlimited number of reasons. This seems to me to constitute the correct poetic attitude, which is essentially a life-attitude, for it stands forever against the notion that the earth is an apathetic limbo lost in space.”

Babel to Bzyantium, p.164

Richard Feynman Documentary

This is an example of a well-constructed biographical documentary. No music nor narrative forces the story; the interviews and clips alone give a glimpse at this person’s life. In this case, the subject is Richard Feynman. 

The interesting parts to me:

Important Business


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