Two friends of ours have joined poetic forces in a little experiment we called Operation: Poetry Dare. Poetry-avoidant Nancy Franson was asked to begin reading a poem a day. Megan Willome, her poetry buddy, agreed to be a sounding board of sorts, discussing the poems with her. They’ve shared their experience with us here at Tweetspeak over the past several weeks.
In their conversation about the poem Mistakes I Have Made by Susanna Childress, Megan remarked, “I defy Oldham — the ranting guy — to explain how ‘one hand clapping’ is not poetry. Music added or not, that says something. And ‘one man clapping’ does, too. It’s poetry, too.”
Nancy issued her own poetry dare to Megan, and here is the result: a nice piece of found poetry at work.
Will Oldham’s June 1, 2012 column in Poetry magazine from the Poetry Foundation has sparked a lot of controversy, including a response column in The Awl. Well, I read it. It’s actually pretty poetic.
Mr. Oldham, I fling at you your own words.
To hell with drawers:
Poetry is something that points to something else.
A poem holds nothing up and nothing in. It sits there.
Sitting there on the paper a poem makes me feel ignorant and insane,
fills the air with signs that I cannot use to direct myself anywhere
except the restroom or the sidewalk or inside of myself.
My mind is kept in a drawer, in the end. And the drawer
hides its contents from view, like a poem.
I also do not like drawers. There must be shelves
where the contents are visible.
When things are hidden in drawers, they do not exist.
So really, poems and cabinets only make me hurt
because I resent those who love them.
This is what I, a child of the age, need. I’m ready for
a return to epic balladry.
It now takes a grander force
to pierce the defenses and get the party started in my soul.
Buy a year of Every Day Poems, just $5.99 — Read a poem a day, become a better poet. In September, we’re exploring the theme Tattoos.
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