Thursday, December 07, 2006

Poetry Thursday: A Poetry Meme

1. The first poem I remember reading/hearing/reacting to was

Apart from nursery rhymes, and hymns, many of which are really poems (being a Presbyterian we sang a lot of psalms, which are classified in the Old Testament as "poetry") - the first two poetry books I owned were "A Child's Garden of Verse" by Robert Louis Stevenson, and the Golden Book of Poetry edited by Louis Untermeyer. I think the latter came first. So probably the first poem is from that book - "The Tale of Custard the Dragon" by Ogden Nash, which I loved and still do. (If you follow the link on the Poetry Thursday site you will find that this meme came from Cam, who recalls the same poem, coincidentally).

2. I was forced to memorize (name of poem) in school and........

Well, I was never made to memorize any poems in English. I do still recall a good chunk of one I had to learn in French - la Fontaine's fable of the fox and the crow (Le Corbeau et Le Renard). I loved memorising it. No problem.

3. I read/don't read poetry because....

I read it of course, because I love it. And because the best poetry hints at all sorts of layers of meanings. And because - well, just because I love poetry and I always have

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

Probably many different poems on different occasions. Maybe Jane Kenyon's beautiful Let Evening Come. Or, if I am in a more light-hearted mood, it might be Billy Collins's Introduction to Poetry

5. I write/don't write poetry, but..............

I do write poetry - but I don't think I work at it hard enough or consistently enough. (Enough for what? Good question. Maybe, enough to satisfy myself that I am living up to my own expectations)

6. My experience with reading poetry differs from my experience with reading other types of literature.....

With poetry I can browse and dip into it more, and also go back and re-read favourites. It is a very different experience from the "straight through" of a novel.

7. I find poetry.....

In books, at readings and on the internet! Especially at Poetry Daily

8. The last time I heard poetry....

was at a book festival in September. I was alternately amused, moved, stimulated and bored. I particularly remember Bill Manhire reading his poem Erebus Voices which commemorates the victims of an air crash in the Antarctic. (It was written to be read at a memorial ceremony). Bill Manhire is a poet I haven't particularly liked in the past, but his more recent work seems to be more accessible. This one is particularly moving.

9. I think poetry is like....

This reminds me of having a new baby, when everyone clusters around trying to decide who the baby is like. I always said of mine "she is like herself" or "he is like himself". There is so much variety in poetry, I don't know how to begin to answer this question.

More answers to the meme at Poetry Thursday
No poems of my own this week, but if you follow the links you will find several very fine poems.

27 comments:

Rethabile said...

Thank you for sharing.

leonie said...

thanks for the poetry daily link, that's a new one for me. i enjoyed reading your post, thanks.

Deb R said...

I think it's going to be fun reading the various answers to this meme. I enjoyed reading yours!

Bice said...

I do write poetry - but I don't think I work at it hard enough or consistently enough.

Who of us do? Loved reading your journey.

r's musings said...

Haven't read a lot of famous poets, but I enjoyed the Billy Collin's link. It's so rich and full. This inspires me to read more poetry, different poetry, spend more time in a bookstore, leafing through poetry books... Thanks for sharing.

brian said...

I find it very interesting that many have heard poetry readings. I never have.

I should do so.

Poet with a Day Job said...

I absolutely love this:

"This reminds me of having a new baby, when everyone clusters around trying to decide who the baby is like. "

January said...

Loved your answers, especially #9.

Also, I'm finding that a lot of poet-bloggers answer that they don't write enough, me included. At least I am in good company.

twilightspider said...

January's right - I think we all wish we could write more. But then again, I think if we were locked up in a cabin for the winter with nothing to do but write, we'd probably still wish we could write more.

And you're right - the baby is like herself. Poetry is... poetry.

liz elayne said...

love your answers and another glimpse into your poetry world.

so glad you shared the links to these poems. the collins poem brought a big smile to my face. and kenyon's words are gorgeous.

caramaena said...

When I think poetry, I think of one we had to rewrite using modern images, in high school - Coleridge's Xanadu. That and the W.H. Auden one they had in Four Weddings and a Funeral. I have to admit, I'm not really into poetry, I guess.

Hello from Michele's :)

mar said...

Lovely meme about poetry, enjoyed reading your answers. I don't read much poetry, should change this!
Here via Michele's!

chiefbiscuit said...

I like your answers - thoughtful and honest. I particularly like the comment that poetry is like itself!

Endment said...

Somewhere in the outer blogosphere is a comment I tried to leave before :)
I really enjoyed your post! I followed your links and had a delightful visit.
Thank you

ren.kat said...

I think the baby has Eve's eyes.

:-)

Don't forget Verse Daily, too!

ren.kat said...

I think the baby has Eve's eyes.

:-)

Don't forget Verse Daily, too!

ren.kat said...

I think the baby has Eve's eyes.

Don't forget Verse Daily.

ren.kat said...

I think the baby has Eve's eyes.

Don't forget Verse Daily.

la vie en rose said...

i had never heard of jane kenyon until i got her collected works for my birthday in may. she's wonderful. and i just finished billy collins book 9 horses at lunch today...

Justin said...

I wish I read more poetry, but I just don't get into it as much as a good novel. Maybe something's wrong with me because I'm not the biggest poetry fan, and I'm an English major.

Michele sent me!

Terri said...

Hi from Michele's (And I goofed...I have visited here before...lol)
I met Billy Collins last year at a writers conference....I'm not that much into poetry, but I have to say, he was FANTASTIC! Loved attending his class and also hearing him read.

OldOldLady Of The Hills said...

Very interesting Meme...I am not a huge reader and I read very little poetry though Edgar Lee Masters "Spoon River Anthology" changed my life and enriched my world in a myriad of ways....

This sure is interesting, my dear...One can tell how very meaningful and important poetry is to you and has been to you for most of your life! That is truly wonderful...!

Thumper said...

I like poetry
But I do not write it well
Michele sent me here

:)

[I know, it bites...]

kontan said...

Here from Michele's and I'm surprised you never had to memorize poetry in English/Lit. It is one of the lessons students really seem to "get into"

Dick Jones said...

Interesting refelctions. My first strong acquaintance with poetry was A Child's Garden Of Verses. My original volume sits proudly now with a huge collection of poetry.

kontan said...

Please forgive my Americentricity! When I stopped by yesterday I was not paying attention to the fact that you are in New Zealand!

paris parfait said...

I enjoyed reading your answers, Catherine. It seems the Stevenson book was an early favourite for a lot of us!