Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Where we are honored

I found this essay and enjoyed it. "Can a Poet Be More Accurate Than a Journalist?" It was linked from the. Poetry Foundation page. I have a stack of poetry books from Cuba that I have slowly been thrilling my way through. It is true, as stated in the article, that in Latin America poets are still honored.

Sometimes I am almost embarrassed to say I am a poet because if the stigma attached. When a person hears the word "poet" it seems that automatically bad , emotionally over-wrought dribble comes to mind; or they snap their fingers at me as if I was some beat remnant they happened across at the zoo. I've met a lot of people who call themselves poets. When I ask them who they read they will scoff and say something along the lines of "I don't read other people's work, I don't want it to stain my mind." Right. Since generals going into battle don't ever study battle tactics of previous wars to see what worked and what failed. They don't want to stain their minds either. I took a ballet class when I was a kid. I don't go around calling myself a ballerina. Poetry is work. It is hard work, studying, creating, deconstructing, constructing, tapping into that part of yourself that you are taught to ignore from childhood. The ineffable grace that lives within us all; bringing it into fruition. Yeah, you may be an investment banker with a Maserati and 2-floor elevator in your shack, but I am working towards immortality. Beat that.

Sufjan Stevens
To Be Alone With You
I happen to think Sufjan Stevens is a poet. A great storyteller, ethereal, haunting. He music for me is for the Winter. But it is chilly this morning and I am wrapped up in my thick black robe so that is winter enough. This song is from Seven Swans, my favorite of his albums.

1 comment:

Marcos said...

Hello Lizz! I recently came across a Steve Kowit poem in a magazine I subscribe to, and it made me think of how he was always a champion of your work. I remember the reading he set up for you, with you as featured poet, at Southwestern quite a long time ago. It got me thinking about you, and I stumbled on to this blog from your myspace page. I'm glad to know you're still working as a wordsmith.