Monday, March 20, 2017

The Writer and the Poet

I must read poetry in silence,
enveloped in the quietude of myself
and the writer and the poet.

Whitman must be read outdoors;
Yeats should be read aloud.
I read Gluck on a sofa, under a comforter
with a cup of tea; alone with her words.

Poe must be read by candlelight
or flashlight, if you must.

I tend to read Baudelaire in coffee shop corners,
nervously glancing around to see if anyone
recognizes me,
or him.

I read Neruda in public, with coffee
(or in my case tea)
but with the intention of sharing lines
of verse, here and there, to strangers,
passersby.


2 comments:

Gwen Walton said...

I really enjoy this poem. A lot. I had to get the obvious comment out of the way first, of course. The images are solid and concise, and it starts off feeling very personal. Yet when I got to the end of the poem, it fell flat. It seems like you were speaking about yourself... and then, in the end, it didn't turn about to be about you but about the other poets, purely referential. Perhaps a turn somewhere toward the end, a change in tone, let us know what it means you? Even just generally where you go on a meta level while reading poetry?

On a more picky note, if you are not drinking coffee, don't put it in there. It is already your case... right? Maybe:

...drinking coffee
(with cinnamon this time)

or
(too bitter but faithful at least)

Adrian Neibauer, EdD said...

Gwen, thanks for the great feedback! The poem is definitely personal. You nailed it when you said that it falls flat at the end; I chickened out. I felt the poem getting too personal, and I pulled back. I needed someone to remind me to keep on the path. I need to bring it back to myself and not just as a reference point for unnamed readers.

I appreciate your picky note! This is exactly the type of feedback I am craving. Thanks.