Wednesday, June 25, 2008


This morning I am going to refrain from naming the poet I've been reading because I've been disappointed in what I've read. Several weeks ago, I came across a poem on Poetry Daily or Verse Daily (not sure which) and fell in love with it. I was surprised to find that the author had published 4 books, but I'd never heard of her. I immediately requested all 4 books from my school's interlibrary loan program. (Thank the stars for libraries and librarians! I could have made the mistake of buying these books on the basis of that one poem.)

Now that I've sifted through the 4 volumes, I'm left feeling empty and disappointed. That one poem, which I found in the latest volume, really is a stand-out. The rest seem too easy, too much on the surface of things. I found myself identifying many of the techniques I caution my students against...abstractions, being glib for no reason, being clever with nothing substantial beneath the cleverness. Every once in a while a line or an image would leap from the page, but these occurrences were too few and far between to keep me hooked.

Still, the morning is beautiful and the joy of the laptop is to be writing this post from my deck, watching the sun make its steady progress across the fresh-mown lawn. There is wind in the trees and the wash of snippets of songs from car stereos passing out front. All the windows must be down.

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