Monday, April 14, 2008

Words And Ideas

I checked out a book titled Good Poems, edited by Garrison Keillor as part of my Read A Poem A Day plan for April. Because Keillor is so funny about being an English major and a reader of literature, I thought I would read the introduction. This, despite always being reminded of the scene in Dead Poets' Society in which Robin Williams' character tells the students to rip the introduction out of the poetry textbooks because it's "excrement."

But you know, I read the intro and I really like what Garrison has to say. He says that this book consists of "poems that somehow stuck with me and with some ofthe listeners. Stickiness, memorability, is one sign of a good poem. You hear it and a day later some of it is still there in the brainpan." I find that poems I read years ago are still in my head; some of them sound familiar to the point of being half-memorized.

In this book I found two poems with the same title. One of them is my favorite poem, and one of them was totally unfamiliar to me. They are so similar in meter but so different in subject, and I got a big chuckle out of Erica-Lynn Gambino's, which has an epigraph of "for William Carlos Williams."

This Is Just To Say

I have just
asked you to
get out of my

even though
you never
I would

Forgive me
you were
me insane

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