Sunday, August 14, 2011
Hitting the Books
It's that wonderful time of year, or at least getting close, when the doors of learning swing open for eager minds. With that in my mind, I'd like to mention two books that deal with the subject of poetry.
The first, "Beautiful and Pointless", I alluded to in my May blog. The author, David Orr, is the poetry critic for the New York Times. He termed his book his "peculiar project". I agree with him in that it is an odd mixture of very analytical, technical moments sprinkled with flights of fancy...i.e humor and lyricism. It is always dense in the sense of richness of thought...albeit at times disjointed.
His chapter headings speak to its content. He addresses the differences and similarities between the personal poem and the political one. He even expresses the idea that poetry can create a change in opinion as it edges toward politics. A powerful idea!
He then launches into a pretty technical analysis of form, but not without creating a category of his own called Resemblance. Curious? I was too.
He then talks about the poet in terms of personal ambition and the need to be in the spotlight or fishbowl.