Kate has an intriguing challenge for April: post something critical about poetry once during the course of the month. She notes that while she often sees poems on book blogs, she doesn’t as often see writing about poetry, and so wants to challenge herself and others to do some critical — meaning analytical — writing about the genre.
I’m up for that, I think. Over the last couple years I’ve taken to reading poetry more often than I did before and I’ve loved it; I’ve discovered some new (meaning new to me) authors such as Jane Kenyon and Mary Oliver, and I’ve reread some old favorites, like Keats. Over the last couple months I’ve been reading one particular poem, Paradise Lost, but I decided early on that I wasn’t going to post about it, so I haven’t mentioned it. All I’ll say about that experience is that I loved the poem and am in awe of it. Kate writes about feeling uncertainty when it comes to voicing an opinion about poetry, and this is exactly what I felt when faced with Milton’s poem. I didn’t want to challenge myself to write about the poem; instead I preferred simply to enjoy it. (And I decided to leave the insightful writing to Imani, who has a great series of posts about Paradise Lost).
But now perhaps it’s time to start writing about poetry again. I’m also in the mood to read more more contemporary poetry — meaning 20th or 21st century poetry, as opposed to works from earlier centuries. I’ve been considering looking into my copy of Wallace Stevens’s Collected Works, or I might take a look at what my local bookstore has and see if something strikes me. I can also write about some of the poems I will be teaching in my classes; I’m about to enter the poetry section of my Introduction to Literature class, and we read poetry regularly in my British Literature class. There will be lots of poems to choose from.
If this interests you, do check Kate’s site out, as she will be offering prizes for participants. I’m hoping to learn about some new poets from everyone who takes part.