Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Poetry. Love it? Hate it?

"Some part of me was parched for poetry. Yet when they forced me to drink lots of it, I had no thirst."
-Robert MacNeil in Wordstruck.

This quote leapt off the pages of MacNeil's book and sent me backwards through time..... 

 learning poetry analysis with a fifth grade sour-lemon face. Yet, appreciating poetry has its rewards, as I discovered and with the arrival of our first issue of Poetry, I was swept away.......

From "Ode to the Belt Sander and this Cocobolo Sapwood." by Matthew Neinow.

"The belt kicks on with a whir
 and the whir licks the end grain of the offcut
 with a hint of hesitation.
A small wind of ochre dust . . . "

(There is more, of course, on page 432) 

Poetry like this engages the senses, kicking up memories and engulfing us in another reality. Neinow's poem tells a whole story in just seventeen lines, and its completeness is satisfying. Yet not all poetry presents such completeness. Some poems require you to fill in the gaps, infer the meaning, extrapolate an ending. Kind of like using Google translate, you can get the gist of the translation and create meaning even if some of the parts don't exactly line up.

Poetry magazine is now part of our magazine collection, and is currently living with the book review and literary magazines. I appreciate the selection of poetry, but also the commentary section, which is crisp and stimulating.

By the way, the Chandramohan Library has a lovely poetry collection; written in many voices and perspectives, styles and time periods. The secret codes to poetry are 811, 808, and also 821 (there's even more secret codes than these). Your friendly librarians would be delighted to give you a whirlwind tour and then leave you to your own discoveries. 

-Mrs. Eldridge

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