Wednesday, October 27, 2010

So You Think You Don't Like Poetry

For this week's selection, I decided to go with two short poems I admire that happen to be very far from what I understand to be my own poetic style. One is by current Poet Laureate Kay Ryan, a woman known for her concise, almost Dickinsonian lyrics; she writes very small, condensed poems that are deceptively simple. The other is by Wendy Cope, whom many liken to Ryan as well as Gertrude Stein. Her poem has a lot of repetition and a risky rhetorical strategy, one that I think pays off.

by Kay Ryan

If we could love
the blunt
and not
the point

we would
almost constantly
have what we want.

What is the
blunt of this
I would ask you

our conversation
weeding up
like the Sargasso.

Some More Light Verse
by Wendy Cope

You have to try. You see a shrink.
You learn a lot. You read. You think.
You struggle to improve your looks.
You meet some men. You write some books.
You eat good food. You give up junk.
You do not smoke. You don't get drunk.
You take up yoga, walk, and swim.
You don't know what to do. You cry.
You're running out of things to try.

You blow your nose. You see the shrink.
You walk. You give up food and drink.
You fall in love. You make a plan.
You struggle to improve your man.
And nothing works. The outlook's grim.
You go to yoga, cry, and swim.
You eat and drink. You give up looks.
You struggle to improve your books.
You cannot see the point. You sigh.
You do not smoke. You have to try.

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