Teaching that (in)famous “Poetry”
(apologies to Marianne Moore)
Her (dis)like of poetry showed through
her pure contempt while reading it. She thought
high interpretation of the unintelligible half poets
elevated an autopsy to a false revery for birth, and
that all the academics criticize what they understand
would be detrimental to their careers. She wanted
a genuine toad, not a prince, an imaginary secret
garden, no flowers, a raw poem eaten, savored,
complete with a belch after gulping beer.
My students hate the image of an autopsy,
don’t like to consider births except in the abstract,
think if someone says “poetry,” then, poetry.
What use definitions, declinations, nuance
or inflections? Metaphors just hide the truth,
what matters comes out straight and clear.
Who cares about red wheelbarrows,
blackbirds, or pigeons, for that matter?
And certainly, they argue, we don’t dislike
all that we don’t understand.
Originally appeared in Fragmentarily/ Metaphor(e) /Play.
© 2017, Michael Dickel