“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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Follow this link for sweet fun: wordcandy.me.
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.
There is a Latin saying: Ars longa, vita brevis. Art is long, life is short. But the true and beautiful thing is that nothing lasts. Everything changes and passes. The creative process is just that. Not a means to an end, but a continuing engagement with being alive.
— Kim Addonizio, Ordinary Genius
Since life is short, and so is time, I’ll make this brief: I’m starting a new book club over at Tweetspeak Poetry. We’re going to make lots and lots of poetry. We will laugh and we will have fun and maybe someone will even cry just a little when they write lines they didn’t know they had in them.
Longtime poet? Don’t think you’re a poet? Doesn’t matter. You will like it.
You just will.
I mean that—everything is fiction. When you tell yourself the story of your life, the story of your day, you edit and rewrite and weave a narrative out of a collection of random experiences and events. Your conversations are fiction. Your friends and loved ones—they are characters you have created. And your arguments with them are like meetings with an editor—please, they beseech you, you beseech them, rewrite me. You have a perception of the way things are, and you impose it on your memory, and in this way you think, in the same way that I think, that you are living something that is describable. When of course, what we actually live, what we actually experience—with our senses and our nerves—is a vast, absurd, beautiful, ridiculous chaos.
— Keith Ridgway, “Everything is Fiction,” featured in The New Yorker, 8/8/2012
There are a lot of things I just really don’t do.
I don’t drink tea. I don’t run 5k races. I don’t read much fiction.
(Not fiction that actually calls itself that, anyway.)
New research seems to correlate regular poetry reading with whiter teeth and lower cholesterol.
Infographic: Every Day Poems, used with permission.