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23 November 2006

Poetry Meme

I've been wanting to create a meme for sometime. I could be wrong, but I think that many readers of this blog do not read poetry, or at least not with the same passion they read fiction. I also find that many of the blogs I read that discuss poetry, rarely discuss fiction. I find that I like both, read both fervently. So I thought I'd do something poetry-related, but intended as much for those who love poetry as for those who are poetry adverse.

Cam's Poetry Meme
1. The first poem I remember reading/hearing/reacting to was
2. I was forced to memorize (name of poem) in school and........
3. I read/don't read poetry because....
4. A poem I'm likely to think about when asked about a favorite poem is .......
5. I write/don't write poetry, but..............
6. My experience with reading poetry differs from my experience with reading other types of literature.....
7. I find poetry.....
8. The last time I heard poetry....
9. I think poetry is like....

My answers:
1. The first poem I remember reading/hearing/reacting to was
Ogden Nash's "The Tale of Custard the Dragon". It was in an anthology of children's poems and I loved it! I think my mother tired of reading it to me.

2. I was forced to memorize (name of poem) in school and........
Godfrey Gordon Gustavus Gore and had to recite it in front of my 8th grade English class. Everyone had to recite a poem, but the speech therapist and my English teacher insisted I recite this one. I thought the poem was funny until I had to recite it. As the new kid in the school, the last thing I needed was to recite something that emphasized my inability to say certain letters. (Follow the link & you'll understand.) What on earth were they thinking? I had wanted to recite a Shakespearean sonnet, which probably would have also caused a bit of teasing. It's amazing that I ever read another poem, verse or otherwise, again.

3. I read/don't read poetry because....
I read poetry because I like the compactness of it. I like the sound. I like how a few words, carefully selected, can evoke a response. And I marvel at anyone who can write a decent poem.

4. A poem or poet I'm likely to think about when asked about a favorite is ......

Recently, I've 'rediscovered' the poems of John Donne. I think perhaps I was too young to understand the beauty of his work when I studied it in college. "A valediction: Forbidding Mourning" is one of my favorites.

5. I write/don't write poetry, but..............
I attempt to write poetry often for the same reason I don't write poetry: it is difficult and forces me to think. I used to write stuff in my 20's that I decided was too lame to share with anyone and in a fit one day burned all of it (or at least all that I could find). I didn't start writing poetry again until this year. Posting it on the this blog was a big step for me.

6. My experience with reading poetry differs from my experience with reading other types of literature.....
I can't read an entire book of poetry. I find it is something to be sampled, savored, sort of like a good port. Dorothy yesterday had a quote on her blog about poetry books being like reference books. I think that is a apt comparison.

7. I find poetry.....
...in the most unlikely of places. While I find a lot of published 'found' poems to be drivel, I find inspiration for poems in snippets of conversation, in the newspaper, in everyday life.

8. The last time I heard poetry....
A reading by Mary Oliver last month. I appreciate poetry readings by established authors, but find that I don't have the patience to sit through amateur or community-based poetry readings. Some of it is good, some of it really good, but I frequently feel like an outsider because I don't feel obligated to be 'encouraging' to aspiring poets. Bad me. But, I do sometimes lurk in the stacks nearby when there is a reading at the local B&N.

9. I think poetry is like....
I think poetry is like opera in terms of the response that it evokes: people usually feel strongly about it. Either they love, love, love it. Or they HATE it! I think people who don't care just haven't been exposed to good poetry (I could say that's why some people hate it too, but that isn't being fair to them, is it?) BTW: I love opera too!

I tag: Litlove, The Hobgoblin, Danielle and one of the more recent additions to my blogroll, the like-named Camille. And anyone else who wants to play. Leave a link in the comments.

7 comments:

Dorothy W. said...

Interesting meme! It's intriguing the different ways people read poetry -- I don't read much of it but when I do, I like to read an entire book. I just read a couple poems at a time and so work my way through it slowly. I also try to get my hands on short books, so it doesn't take forever.

Anonymous said...

Here's mine: Poetry Meme

I forgot to mention that I don't read through an entire poetry book at once either. I don't care about the size though--I like to have something to look forward to.

Great meme!

Danielle said...

Thanks for tagging me. I am working on my answers and will post them later--though be warned, poetry and plays are my blind spots when it comes to literature!

Dana said...

I love this. I just sent you mail about it.

iamnasra said...

This is really cool...Well If I was asked those question and I enjoy writing poetry would take me ages to think about

Anonymous said...

Thanks to you and lotus reads, I did the poetry meme. I enjoyed it.

Marcia said...

Great meme. . I will do it later in the week. . Have a good Friday.