Poetry?! Why Bother?


— “The Contiguous Image: Mapping Metaphor in Haiku” by Matthew M. Carriello (Thank you, Denise Hill)

— “Should MIT Teach Poetry?” by John Lundberg

— “This Is Your Brain on Metaphors” by Robert Sapolsky

— “Present and Tense: Fiction vs. Poetry in Recovery


— HOW TO READ, AND PERHAPS ENJOY, VERY NEW POETRY” by Stephen Burt (Thanks, Kathleen Ossip)

— Audre Lorde’s “Poetry is Not a Luxury” & Cathy Park Hong’s “How Words Fail” — From Metta Sáma: Hong because she talks about what it means to “find your voice” and Lorde because she clearly explains why poetry is “necessary to our existence”

— From A Hundred White Daffodils — “Thoughts on the Gift of Art” (pg. 138) (Thanks, Scott Rex Hightower)

— The Heart Aroused by David Whyte (Thanks, Caroline A LeBlanc)

— From Matt Rotando:  Norman Fischer’s “Do You Want To Make Something Out Of It?” is pretty superb. Almost any chapter from Octavio Paz’s book THE OTHER VOICE.

— From Heidi Lynn Staples:  …not a direct treatment of the question, but the implication seems pretty obvious to me:
“‘Shrinking’ the Climate Problem” by Andrew C. Revkin

Also, relevant to the question of academic curriculum is the scientific work done on poetry therapy. A book by the same name, Poetry Therapy: Theory and Practice by Nicolas Mazza, has lots of articles on the scientifically proven health benefits of expressive writing.”

— Poetry Evaluation Project (Thanks, Diane Lockward)

— “A Poet Came to Our Class” (Thanks, Diane Lockward)

— “It’s pure poetry: FSU outreach targets kids at-risk, raises scores and more” (Thanks, Diane Lockward)

— “In Yemen, Fighting Illiteracy Through Poetry” by Kim A. O’Connell  (Thanks, Diane Lockward)

— “Poetry’s Place and the Poet’s Participation with Fields of Knowledge” by Rosemary Winslow (Thanks, Diane and Rosemary)

— “Poetry is I say essentially a vocabulary just as prose is essentially not. And what is the vocabulary of which poetry absolutely is. It is a vocabulary based on the noun as prose is essentially and determinately and vigorously not based on the noun. Poetry is concerned with using with abusing, with losing with wanting with denying with avoiding with adoring with replacing the noun. It is doing that always doing that, doing that doing nothing but that. Poetry is doing nothing but using losing refusing and pleasing and betraying and caressing nouns. That is what poetry does, that is what poetry has to do no matter what kind of poetry it is. And there are a great many kinds of poetry. So that is poetry really loving the name of anything and that is not prose.”

— Gertrude Stein, “Poetry and Grammar”


Education Poetics Poetry Sexy

AMY KING View All →

Amy King is the recipient of the 2015 Winner of the Women’s National Book Association (WNBA) Award. Her latest collection, The Missing Museum, is a winner of the 2015 Tarpaulin Sky Book Prize. She co-edited with Heidi Lynn Staples the anthology Big Energy Poets of the Anthropocene: When Ecopoets Think Climate Change. She also co-edits the anthology series, Bettering American Poetry, and is a professor of creative writing at SUNY Nassau Community College.

2 Comments Leave a comment

  1. You listed here a fine essay on haiku by Matthew Carriello, who references poet and author Bruce Ross’s “absolute metaphor” developed in Ross’s great essay, “The Essence of Haiku” — http://www.modernhaiku.org/essays/RossEssenceHaiku.html. Just for the record — there are many schools of thought on the constitutive nature of haiku, ranging from the minimalist and experimental to the traditionalist Japanese. It’s an exciting time to be writing in forms of Asian-derivation, that include not only haiku, but senryu,hokku, tanka, renga, and haibun, as well because it is a time of such healthy disagreement favoring experimentation. The scholar, Haruo Shirane, has written some of the finest and most profound work to date on haiku — http://www.haikupoet.com/definitions/beyond_the_haiku_moment.html and I have written an essay on the haibun for the general reader, “The American Haibun” — http://donnafleischer.wordpress.com/2010/09/24/donna-fleischer-the-american-haibun/ . Bruce Ross’s aforementioned essay has this epigraph: “In these things [of nature] there is a deep meaning, but if we try to express it, we forget the words.” — Toenmei. Thanks for all that you do, Amy, for poetry.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: