Wednesday, May 31, 2006

Boring Discussions About Poetry

I look on a lot of poetry blogs and feel they get too technical about poetics and literature. Science can get away with talking in its own language, but poetry is about communication. It's not so difficult that we have to obscure it by talking in jargon. I resolve, if I ever write an essay on some poetic subject, that I will make it accessible and readable. And entertaining!

Monday, May 22, 2006

Surprise in Poetry

Surprise, I'm actually posting (to my non-existent audience). I've been wondering a lot about suprise lately in poetry. In some mainstream poetry, I feel like I can almost fill in the blanks, know what's coming. They end with a bird metaphor or they point to some other gentle ephiphany about life. I would rather be whipped around a little more; wouldn't it be fun to have an ending like a crazy Warners Brothers cartoon or something equally absurd. Do readers really want to be surprised, or do they just want surprises they expect and make them feel comfortable? What would a truly unsettling surprise look like, one that made someone puke even. Billy Collins is reading Wednesday at MLK Library in D.C., so I guess I might go. I'll bring my rotten tomatoes -- just kidding.