A grab-bag of thoughts about the awe-inspiring (but not at all intimidating) Olena Kalytiak Davis and my ideas on how to approach a poet/poem for the first time. Check out:
- You and Me Both by Dan Chiasson in The New Yorker
- The Poem She Didn’t Write and Other Poems published by Copper Canyon Press, 2014
- I had a Ski-Masked Rapist in My House
- ARE POETS BAD MOTHERFUCKERS?????????
- I Was Minor
This week I had fun chatting to Sydney-based poet Benjamin Dodds, author of Regulator published by Puncher and Wattman. We get a window into his current project about ‘ethically troubling scientific discoveries’, then hear the prose poem Ape by Russell Edson. (Put down your breakfast while listening to this one.)
Benjamin also reads his beautiful poem Surrogacy. Next we cover how he shares work with Stuart Barnes, ask why Billy Collins might have a Coldplay problem, and reveal how Tori Amos got us through high school.
This week I’m attempting to answer a listener question: How do I get into poetry?
Poems in this week’s episode:
- Stopping by woods on a snowy evening by Robert Frost
- One Art by Elizabeth Bishop
- Burning Sappho by Gwen Harwood
- Lucky by Dorothy Porter
- praise song by Nate Marshall
Bonus poems (if you’ve got other ideas for starter poems, let me know!):
- We Real Cool by Gwendolyn Brooks
- The Lyrebird by David Brooks
- My Country by Dorothea McKellar
- The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock by T. S. Eliot
- Growing a Bear by Hannah Gamble
You can find plenty of qualified peeps ready to guide you into poetry on Coursera, edX, Poetry Foundation, iTunesU (check out Open Yale Courses to start with) and YouTube (here’s a great lecture on Eliot’s The Wasteland).
This week I got to talk with Lisa Brockwell about three poems that play with the theme of ‘the girl in the poet and the poet in the girl’. We also cover why it’s important to keep reading even when the poems go quiet, the question of poetry ‘scenes’ and, importantly, HBO’s Looking.
This week’s poems:
This week I make a case for the short WWI poem Adelstrop by Edward Thomas. Then things get a little experimental as I try to answer the question: How does this poem operate in 2016? (Mild spoilers towards the end for Helen Macdonald’s beautiful memoir H is for Hawk.)
If you’re keen to go deeper into this type of poetry you can find the free lectures I’m talking about at Open Yale Courses. (Langdon Hammer is the charming English literature professor you never had.)