18 April 2010

Sunday Salon: Someone was poem-hungry

Today I am reading Good Poems in honor of National Poetry Month. I figured it would be a good choice for me since I have a simple mind when it comes to poetry. I like poems that I can understand, plain and simple. I don't get the poems that are just collections of pretty words or that are written as one giant paragraph. As Garrison Keillor said in the introduction to this book, "Good poems tend to incorporate some story, some cadence or shadow of story." If I can't dig out the story, then it isn't the poem for me.

Anyway, I picked up the book first thing this morning and started reading. It quickly became evident that several pages were missing. They had been torn from the book in such a neat way that at first I thought I'd gotten a misprinted copy. Once I realized that the book had indeed been vandalized, I was a bit perplexed. I can't remember the last time that I felt the need to rip pages out of a book or a magazine. This book was written after the advent of the internet; Keillor even mentions the website that is associated with the book, The Writer's Almanac. So why would a reader rip out a favorite poem when she could look it up online? Barring that, you could at least copy the poem by hand into a notebook. I could almost understand if it was just one poem. You could say the reader was so touched by the words that passion overtook reason and she had to have that exact page for her own. However, there are nine poems missing (someone was kind enough to put check marks next to the missing ones in the table of contents -- the librarian, perhaps?). That seems more like blatant disregard for future library patrons.

QUESTION: Are you reading any poetry for National Poetry Month?

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