Saturday, June 25, 2005

I'm sitting here, nursing a glass of strawberry milk and reading The Princess Bride (some things never change, no matter where you currently lay your head), one of the four books which have arrived for me this week. I feel, as more and more books arrive, like a very greedy kid at Christmas.

But that is not the point of this post. Greed and posting are both along the lines of bad habits, but that is where the connection ends.

I'm nursing a glass of strawberry milk, reading the Princess Bride, that classic, immortal tale of True Love and High Adventure, and wondering, do poets ever write anything funny?

No, seriously. Do they? Or even joyful - do poets ever write anything joyful? Or does it all have to be profound and deep and mournful: illuminating the failings of humanity and the beauty of language?

I think that's why I'll never be a poet. There's this other half of me (in opposition to the half that is nearly-poetic) that likes normal, happy, simple things. I like puns, and I like some of America's Funniest Home Videos, and commercials. There are a lot of amusing commercials. I like homemade applesauce, and cooking hamburger for supper. I like talking to my family, and going out to lunch with Grandma. I like turning Maggie's doghouse (at Dad's request and as Avery's cohort in crime) into crazy-hippie-cammo. I like books, and old hippie music, and curling up in bed on a rainy day. I like that lazy feeling you get on mornings you know you don't have to get up early. I like words like "Strawberry milk" and "dutch" and "hifalutin," which will never be on the top list of words to be included in a poem.

I like being happy. I think it would, all told, take too much energy to hold onto the level of loss and solemnity that seems to be required for good poetry.

Maybe I'm just too normal to be a poet.

Oh, and I realize there might've been some confusion - all poetry quoted in the last post was Louise Gluck.


Captain Shar said...

It comes together; it really does. The parts that we really, truly liked in the ordinary, and the parts that we really, truly liked in the art, will be real and be known to be the same one day.

Mackenzie said...
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Liz said...

They tell you in acting and in writing (I think) to give your characters opposites. This makes for more interesting and realistic characters, and I have a theory as to why: because, at least sometimes, real people have opposites in them. Example: Mat(t)'s love/hate dichotomy about theatre majors.

My guess is that poetry and normalcy might be a pair of those opposites in you, and therefore nothing to worry about. Who can be stark and depressed and taking arms against a sea of troubles all the time? Maybe the belief that a true poet could not be normal and happy was what drove so many to drugs and suicide. I vote no on drugs and suicide. Yay for strawberry milk.