poems

(3 comments)
October 27, 2007

Rockport! Or, as Evil B puts it after this post, the Evil B Life Extension Service.

Mandate of the Moment
The meaning of poetry is to give courage. A poem is not a puzzle that you the dutiful reader are obliged to solve. It is meant to poke you, get you to buck up, pay attention, rise and shine, look alive, get a grip, get the picture, pull up your socks, wake up and die right. Poets have many motives for writing (to be published on expensive paper, to show up others in your M.F.A. program, to flaunt your sensitive nature and thereby impress someone who might then go to bed with you, to win valuable prizes and fellowships and maybe a year in Rome or Provence, to have a plausible excuse for making a mess of your life), but what really matters about poetry and what distinguishes poets from, say, fashion models or ad salesmen is the miracle of incantation in rendering the gravity and grace and beauty of the ordinary world and thereby lending courage to strangers, This is a necessary thing.
--Garrison Keillor, introduction to "Good Poems for Hard Times"

Quote of the Moment
"You need the scroll function for that poem to work. Isn't it kick that scrolls and icons are back??? I love the lingo."
Heather McHugh of spondee.com, quoted in the same book