Fitting poetry into life

Do you read poetry? Regularly? If yes, what’s your practice? Where does it fit in your day?

I’ve got a few books of poetry I want to read, but I’m not in a poetry habit. I don’t want to just read straight through — I don’t feel that I’d get a good feel for the works.

I tried keeping a book at the dining room table, so that at lunch, I could read one or two each day. But it hasn’t worked. The table gets completely cleared when we have company (so the book isn’t at hand), and sometimes my lunchtime reading is preoccupied by the recent magazine. Perhaps with more diligence this could work, but I’m still dissatisfied: Even if I read one poem each day, it will take what feels like forever to get through this. The table of contents of the book I’m currently attempting is seven pages long. That’s a lot of poems. And the next book? At least twice as long. And when I read a poem, I’m drawn in. I read the next, and the next, and … before I know it, they’ve all run together and I don’t know what I’ve read.

Tell me about your poetry reading. What do you read? How much, how often? What drives you to poetry? I hope to draw inspiration from your stories.

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One response to “Fitting poetry into life

  1. That’s funny. I just came across an anthology of poems The Starving Artist had put together in 94. I have a few in there too. I have always loved poetry, but within reason. And I think you are right to break it down in bite-size pieces. It’s just not meant to be shoveled down in big handfuls like popcorn. I did most of my poetry reading in highschool and college, and thoroughly enjoyed it. Emily Dickinson is one of my top picks. Cliche’? Don’t care.

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