Saturday, December 02, 2006

A Poetry Meme!

I saw this up at Kermit the Frog's place, who saw it at Light Reading, started by Cam.

1. The first poem I remember reading/hearing/reacting to was
I remember being forced to read some Robert Louis Stevenson (I think, but not sure) poem as a little kid, in our school reader. The picture next to it was a boy playing with blocks. I hated it. (That pretty much sums up my reading experience of poems until I was in grad school and people actually taught me to read poetry.)

2. I was forced to memorize (name of poem) in school and
I was forced to memorize Goethe's "Erle Konig" (pretend there's an umlaut over the "o"). I didn't do well, and hated it. I totally didn't understand why my German teacher was so in love with romanticism. I still don't understand why anyone is so in love with romanticism. Put it this way, Marlowe's Faustus can take Goethe's Faust in a fight any day of the week, with one Act tied behind its stage.

3. I read poetry because
I really like Kermit's answer, that she (I think!) reads poetry that she's familiar with, and likes rereading. I do, too. Poetry is HARD! I tend to like reading poetry that's playful with words and ideas, that makes me think or laugh, and that feels good on the tongue.

4. A poem or poet I'm likely to think about when asked about a favorite is
Shakespeare's sonnets, the opening of The Faerie Queene, Donne, Herrick. "Dulce et Decorum Est."

5. I don't write poetry, but
When I tried for an assignment in my first college lit class, my iambs all came out trochees. Seriously.

6. My experience with reading poetry differs from my experience with reading other types of literature
Again, Kermit has a great answer. It IS slower. Poetry is like looking at really great art, I need to sit down with it and think, read and reread.

7. I find poetry
Kermit's answer is that she finds poetry underappreciated in her department. That takes me aback in a way, but when I think about it, my department is very heavily novel and short story oriented. We have a poet in creative writing, but other than that, only the people who do older lit much teach poetry or verse per se. My own answer is that I find poetry challenging and exciting because challenging.

8. The last time I heard poetry
Um, people I know tend to spout bits of poetry in the halls, so I hear pieces a lot. One of the local philosophy profs likes to recite Shakespeare sonnets when he sees me, and bits of Shakespeare's dialogue. He's WAY better at it than I am. I'm all "To be or... um..." (shamelessly stolen from Robin Williams).

9. I think poetry is like
Um, I want to say sex, but that's likely to weird people out. It feels good; sometimes familiar is good, and trying new things, and hitting just the right sensual spots in your mouth, and imagery is so important. I so shouldn't go there.


  1. Anonymous11:07 AM

    Wouldn't "my iambs all came out trochees" be a great expression to enter the popular repertoire? When you're presenting out loud and stumble over the quotes, or have a day when you just can't phrase things right? It's like having two verbal left feet.

  2. Anonymous11:08 AM

    P.S. -- I do realize you meant it literally, Bardiac!