What is it about them philosophers?


Voltaire and Diderot at the Cafe Procope

Do philosophers today

know what they say;

or do they conspire

to make us tire

of frumpery and fog,

to feel like a cog

and slip a gear

from some primal fear

that every word

is genuinely dear

—or simply absurd?

– RDG

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Quotations: On Poetry


Emily Dickinson Script

Emily Dickinson Script

“. . . you can’t force a poem.” —Elizabeth Jennings, quoted in The Poetry of Piety, edited by Ben Witherington III and Christopher Mead Armitage

“It takes a grateful audience to keep a poem alive.” —Ted Kooser, The Poetry Home Repair Manual

“Another note to tack up over your desk: Too much cleverness in poetry can be a real killer.” —Ted Kooser, The Poetry Home Repair Manual

“Poetry, even the poetry of humor and delight, is an agent of the imagination pressing back, in Wallace Stevens’s phrase, against the pressure of reality.” —David Lehman, Forward to The Best American Poetry 2006, edited by Billy Collins

Beyond the Sounds of Poetry


In a separate post, I’ve recommended Robert Pinsky’s little book The Sounds of Poetry. So maybe you’ve jumped in and grabbed your own copy of the book to get yourself educated in the values of poetry. What comes after Pinsky’s guide? Here are a few suggestions that vaguely parallel my own path toward greater understanding and appreciation of the riches of poetry. Read more of this post

Don’t Like Poetry? Start Here


How often have you read a poem and thought, “I don’t get it”? I can relate. How about this one: “I don’t get it; but I wish I could”? That was me, too. And it kept me away from poetry. Then I discovered Robert Pinsky’s little book The Sounds of Poetry: A Brief Guide. Pinsky helped me get it, and made me a believer in poetry.

There are several reasons why I wanted a deeper appreciation of the poetry I didn’t understand. Read more of this post

Poem in Need of a Title


Poetry

Is not for me.

I wrote “this little ditty,” as they say, earlier this year. Imagine the exertion!

I’m now taking suggestions for a title. I’ve had two nominations, so far: “The Poet,” and “Poet Wannabe.”

For the time being

And maybe in perpetuity,

“Poetry

Is not for me,”

Will have to idle

As “Poem In Need of a Title.”

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