Every year I take on a set of book challenges, ones that I’ve learned to view in a less restricted manner (You must read all the books), but rather as guiding lights for reading. 2015 saw me participating in Savvy Verse and Wit‘s poetry challenge.
At the beginning and still today, I understand little of the art and science behind poetry. Three minutes into a conversation on iambic pentameter and I am fascinated, but my eyes are glazed over. Throughout the year, I just dove in to see what I could see.
In a somewhat narcissistic sense I suppose, poetry teaches and reminds me a lot about my life. Here are a selection of favorites:
Elizabeth Barret Browning exposes the need to be accepted in Sonnet XXXII. Her work reminds me that I am more of a romantic schmuck than I would ever admit.
Poe’s The Raven brings back delightful memories of dramatic readings done by my father with the rapt audience of a ten-year-old.
Maya Angelou’s Phenomenal Woman sends me into a tailspin regarding the meaning of womanhood, a question that’s been plaguing me lately. Seriously, what does it even mean to be a woman??
And Mary Oliver calls me back to the preciousness of life in The Summer Day.
Reading poetry has brought a fresh air of discovery into my reading life, and I’m excited to further explore in 2016 and beyond.
To end, here’s a favorite from Ethan Coen, entitled Sorry, Pal.
Let you out so you can barf?
Sorry pal, no getting out.
The car is life.
Your barf rides with you.
Brash but true.