Friday, May 18, 2007

Poetry

I don’t know a lot about poetry. At one time, I tried to learn about poetry and even tried to write some, but realized that, like golf, my time and energy was better served by other pursuits.

I know that I’ve read poetry that I’ve liked—Whitman, T.S. Eliot and some William Carlos Williams—but never enough to speak with any authority about what’s good, valid, or proper.

Today, on my drive to a graduation of a training class I had some hand in putting together, I caught Garrison Keillor, hosting his morning The Writer’s Almanac spot and he read a wonderful poem, “Mrs. Krikorian,” about a teacher that makes a difference in a young boy’s life. How fitting that he read that poem, on my way to this graduation, a ceremony of significance for nine people, jumpstarting their lives.

The poem was written by a poet named Sharon Olds, who I knew nothing about until Mr. Keillor read her poem. But I now know that Ms. Olds, when summoned in 2005, by Laura Bush, to the National Book Festival, indicated she could not, saying “she could not face the idea of breaking bread with you. I knew that if I sat down to eat with you, it would feel to me as if I were condoning what I see to be the wild, highhanded actions of the Bush Administration."

Maybe it’s time to read some poetry?

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