Although I take foolish pride in being linked to by real poets, as opposed to mere lovers of poetry like myself, anyone who’s read my blogentry called “Why I Blog” would realize that the real purpose of this blog is to better understand myself, not merely to discuss poetry.
I started this blog to express some strong beliefs. I started by using poetry as a means of discussing political events that were unfolding, but soon realized that the only reason I would continue to write a journal would be to examine my own life, not merely to reflect on political events that irritated me but that I had little control over.
I used poetry so often because it has been one of the great loves of my life. It only seemed natural to turn to poetry in order to discover what I believe. But anyone who’s read this blog for awhile, or taken a moment to examine the column on the left, would realize that I’m not going to confine my reflections to poetry.
Nor, despite appearances, am I attempting to teach poetry to the world. Occasionally, I’ll admit that I find myself falling back into my familiar,but abandoned, role as teacher, but that is merely a temporary lapse, one I apologize for. If I were really attempting to teach poetry, I’m sure I would be much more circumspect about sharing my personal feelings about the poets, as I never felt it was my role to impose my personal tastes on my students. What I’m really doing is sharing my thoughts on the books as I read them.
My recent discussion of Ezra Pound and William Carlos Williams, and my upcoming look at T. S. Eliot and Wallace Stevens is not an attempt to educate the public at large on four of the “great” modern poets. Instead, this study was inspired by Harold Bloom’s introduction to The Complete Poems of Hart Crane, a book mentioned favorably by Jeff Ward of This Public Address awhile ago, a book that I was completely unfamiliar with. Bloom noted that Hart’s poetry was, in part, a reaction to these contemporary poets.
Since it has been a considerable time since I had read these poets, and since I wasn’t necessarily enamoured of them when I did read them many years ago, I decided I needed to take a long look back at them. Doing so, as noted, has raised a number of new questions that I’m still attempting to deal with.
When I finish reading Crane’s book, and I always use what I’m reading as the source of my bloggish meanderings, I plan on taking on either Heller’s Catch-22, which might very well be my favorite modern novel, one that seems more relevant than ever, or Sebald’s novels, two novels I’ve never read but which intrigued me because they were suggested by Jonathon Delacour.
In addition, I’m going to be reading the poems of Cavafy, suggested by Marie of Alembic in a comment she made on an earlier entry and by someone else who unfortunately escaped the meager limits of my fast-aging memory.