“I love your wide-open poetry” is what the great poet Pablo Neruda once told Lawrence Ferlinghetti. Ferlinghetti, who believed Neruda to be speaking of a broader group of poets, those of the Beat Generation, responded with “You opened the door.”
How have the words of another opened the door for you?
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My family moved out of state and I started eighth grade in a school without an orchestra. I joined the city’s adult symphony instead, sitting second of two chairs. I took private lessons from a man who looked to be a cross between Professor Snape and Harry Potter. None of the girls in my class wanted to take lessons from him. With his large round glasses and long, greasy black hair, the spindly music instructor frightened me only slightly less than his brutish, muscular wife who always answered the door red-faced and angry. “I am here to play viola,” I said.
I’m finishing up our book club discussion of Ordinary Genius over at Tweetspeak Poetry this week, telling my musical history and writing a sonnet. I’m told that my sonnets (I’ve two to my name) tend to sound a little angry. Maybe it had to do with my viola teacher’s angry wife, I don’t know. You could check it out if you’d like.
And while you’re there, I’ve got a brand new slate of our weekly Top Ten Poetic Picks–great finds in art, poetry, music and writing. My favorite this week? The Halloween costumes based on famous works of art. You’ll want to see them. Trust me on this.
Last week, my parents visited us over the weekend. Their stay was extended by a vehicular malfunction. My dad returned home, car fixed and a shiny new repair bill under his arm, and wrote this. I don’t know if he meant for me to publish it. We’ll see.
We took a little trip in our Mercury auto
Out through the farm byways of Minnesota
Crossed the border into South Dakota
To visit the chief poet at Claims Poetica (more…)
When I traveled last month, I attended a writer’s event at The Mount in Lenox, Mass., which is the beautiful, sprawling estate of 20th century author and poet Edith Wharton.
I have a photo essay up at Tweetspeak if you’d like to enjoy a glimpse into the spirit of Edith Wharton, which is evident throughout the “autobiographical house.”
By this time, I’m ready to ask the chicken question.
I’ve been scratching around for an angle, and even as I type this, I don’t have one. But Kim Addonizio tells me I don’t have to know where I’m going when I start writing, and even goes so far as to say it might be best not to. If that’s true, then I could walk her way and ask the age-old question to see if it gets me all the way across the boulevard.
(Addonizio got a poem out of it when she tried.)
So what do you think? Why did the chicken cross the road?
It’s Wednesday, and I’m at Tweetspeak where we’re reading Kim Addonizio’s Ordinary Genius: A Guide for the Poet Within together. Come on over to read the rest of the post — maybe you’ll find out why the chicken crossed. Or how it wound up in my dryer.
Photo by Toby M, Creative Commons license via Flickr.