One of my goals this year is to read more poetry. I've always liked poetry. (I even named one of the necklaces in my book "Poet Laureate.") That said, I find some modern poetry too obtuse and dense for me to grasp. I did a little research to figure out where I should start.
I decided to begin with Billy Collins, U.S. Poet Laureate 2011-2013. Interestingly, his name always pops up in collection of poetry for anti-poetry types. (See for example: "13 Poetry Collections for People Who Think They Don't Like Poetry" and "5 Poems for People Who Don't Like Poetry.") Having just finished his book The Trouble with Poetry, I can see why he appears on many such lists. His poetry is easy to understand with many moments of everyday life that most readers will recognize. Some of my favorite poems in the book were: "Monday," "The Student," and "The Introduction."
My Poetry Book Necklace was inspired by the poem "The Student" which lists some of the "rules" of poetry, such as avoiding the words vortex, velvety, and cicada. It begins:
My poetry instruction book,
Which I bought at an outdoor stall along the river,
contains many rules
about what to avoid and what to follow.
The poem ends with the book's admonishment to keep your poem in one season. The narrator responds:
whenever I look up from my page
and see a burn-mark of yellow leaves,
I think of the icy winds
that will soon be knifing through my jacket.
I enjoyed this poem quite a bit probably because I have been in writing classes where the "rules" were quite obviously things like "real poets dress all in black and wear berets" or "real poems are always dark and depressing."
I used a wire spiral binding on the book because I wanted a "notebook-y" feel. The copper front cover has the word "poetry" hand stamped on aluminum; the brass back cover is a pattern that reminds me of those old tin ceilings found in old buildings. There's a little brass leaf charm near the clasp that evokes the mention of yellow leaves in the poem.
If you read poetry, do you have any poets to recommend?