Let me tell you about the way I look for poetry. I go to the poetry section at the library and pull a book from the shelf. I open it at random and start flipping through the pages. If the poems are all long, if there are no white spaces, I shut the book and pull another off the shelf.
I had my fill of long, dense poems, in college. After I graduated, I stopped reading poetry. I had had enough of "What is the theme?" "How does the poet use metaphor?"
I eventually found my way back through children's poetry. Children's poets say what they have to say then close their mouths and move on. No overblown language, no hidden meanings, no extended metaphors, etc. Clear, concise, playful, understandable!
Now, I look for big-people poets who have a talent for clear, concise, playful, and understandable writing. I don't want to have to unravel a literary allusion, or read a poem that is eight pages long, so I go for short. If I find a short poem, I'll stop and read it. If it speaks to me, then I'll read more from the poet. Perhaps it's because I'm easily distracted, or maybe it's pure laziness, but it works for me!
Yes, I admit I may miss out on some outstanding longer poems. So be it. I've never claimed to be well-read!
Today, I'd like to share the following with you, from the late Jane Kenyon. It's one of those poems that make you say, with great satisfaction, "Ah, yes."
Finding A Long Gray Hair
I scrub the long floorboards
in the kitchen, repeating
the motions of other women
who have lived in this house.
And when I find a long gray hair
floating in the pail,
I feel my life added to theirs.
This week's Poetry Friday Round-Up is taking place at Tabatha A. Yeatts.
Have a great 4th of July weekend!