While reworking my bookshelves these past few days, attempting to make room for my bulging collection, I've been drawn to a few titles: Morning Poems (Bly), Lunch Poems (O'Hara), Chicago Poems (Sandburg). Selected Poems.
The first two come from a pattern in writing, a kind of methodical progress. Since I left high school teaching and started the MFA program, I've lost my pendulous routine--I would write during my prep hour, one poem, send it to a friend, who also would send me one poem a day. Now, each day is shaded differently from the one before, my wake-up time off kilter, and with classes, there is no promise from one day to the next.
I've been carrying a sheaf of poems with me, enough for a chapbook, that has begun to be referred to as "the grandfather poems." This can't be the title; I can't imagine how many people who would turn away from such a collection. But for now, I have my own little collection with a unifying title. Many of which came from those poem-a-day practices while still teaching high school.
Aside: See what Obama has been caught reading. I especially appreciate that on my birthday last year, he was reading a book of poems.
Tracy K. Smith Visits Chinaby Harriet Staff
2 hours ago