I've been casually casting around, trying to learn something about modern poetry. It shouldn't be difficult and if I decided to focus on it I'm sure I could find what needs to be found - a book, a website or whatever.

It hasn't happened yet.

Part of the problem is I am reading a lot these days and as usual that means a lot of variety and all the reading styles said variety entails. Alongside Calvin and Hobbes beside my bed I have two books on picture framing (not ready for that project yet), a collection of short stories, a 20 year old National Geographic, Orwell's Down and Out in Paris and London, a stack of readings from BCPV that I don't think anyone else is reading (this is why I'm the best), Noel Castree's Nature (again) for the class I'm TAing and The Death of Nature: Women, Ecology and the Scientific Revolution just because I found a reference to it somewhere.

I'm hoping the last book, by Carolyn Merchant for those who care, will help me develop Gaia more fully. Gaia being (obviously no originality on my part) the Earth personified and the main protagonist in my comic, featuring everyone's favourite conflicted environmental superhero Antaeus Findlay. Right now I feel she's too stereotypical nature-mother-figure. The wild, uncontrolled woman as opposed the structured and rational male scientific society. I suppose there is some strength to be found in that view, but I have to be careful. Right now there's too much jealousy and vanity in why she does what she does and it needs something more to make her a complex being. I want to avoid a male-female binary paean and don't think creating a distinct female character to counteract Gaia will cut it.

Can you tell this story found its genesis when I was in grad school? And it's not even on top of my to do list. That's the novel. So why not throw poetry in there as something else I haven't read enough of, alongside short stories?

Yeesh. I just wanted to tell you about a neat poetry thing I found.

Here it is. Joel Stickley, a member of the Aisle 16 poetry group in Britain. He teaches you How to Write Badly Well and writes a damn fine poem. Complete with pictures!
So I have an entry into poetry. Hurray! Now I just need to learn a new reading style for the medium. One that is slower, more expansive and better able to take in what's on offer. Reading academic stuff lends itself to speed and skimming, as does having a to-read list a million miles long, not to mention only giving yourself a few minutes in bed to read before sleep is undeniable.

Priorities my good man.

Eventually I'll learn that life is life and needn't be completed by the end of the month; there's time to be apportioned. Perhaps I need to sharpen my apportioning sticks as much as anything else.

1 comment:

  1. http://plagiarist.com/ is a good poetry website (although the name is rather unsavoury).