Tuesday, 12 August 2008

Poetry reading meme

Almost everyone seems to write poetry, but practically no one seems to read it. Hasn't anyone worked out the flaw in this? Anyway, to see if you're bothering to read the stuff, a meme. Feel free to be tagged.

Have you ever written poetry? You haven't been paying attention to this blog, have you? Honestly, what sort of person asks me that question? (hang on, it's me, isn't it?)

How often do you read poetry by others? Pretty much every day.

Do you know where the poetry section of your nearest bookshop is? Upstairs, sandwiched between sport, religion, and a number of books on lacemaking.

Do you know the title of a poetry magazine, zine or journal based in your home town? Have you read it? There's one called The Slab, which comes out of Hull. Technically not my home town, but near enough. As for reading it, give me a chance, I only bought a copy two hours ago and I've been reading other things.

When was the last time you bought a poetry magazine or collection? Guess. Also, I got a copy of Benjamin Zephaniah's Too Black, Too Strong.

What was the last poem you read that you loved? Probably 'Firewalker' by Frances Leviston.

And the last you hated? Well, I read a book of concrete poetry the other day. I'm sorry if you feel a particular attachment to the stuff, but as far as I'm concerned it's graphic design, not poetry.

Are there any poets who you've surprised yourself by liking or hating? I was quite surprised to find myself enjoying Larkin after determining that I would hate him, and almost equally surprised to find I don't like much of Betjeman's work. There must be something wrong with me.

Finally, have you ever felt the need to memorise a poem? I've done this exactly three times with other people's work. The first with a silly poem for children. The second with sonnet 18 from Shakespeare ('Shall I compare thee to a summer's day...') and finally 'This be the verse' by Larkin. All together now: 'They fuck you up, your mum and...'

(Incidentally, should anyone find themselves offended by the language, please remember that it is a: a fairly arbitrary social taboo, and b: almost certainly what our dear librarian wanted. Don't give him the satisfaction)


trickylittleimp said...

I'm a bit thick and am not sure how memes work on blogs, Stu...I wanna play! ;)

stu said...

Very simple. Just take the same questions and answer them. The easy way is to copy and paste the whole thing, then delete the answers, leaving space for yours. The other option is to simply write them down. In theory, having done it you then tag other people, encouraging them to do it. In practice, I almost never do, since I don't like telling complete strangers what to do.

April Boland said...

Sonnet 18 - I've got that one under the belt too. I learned it while auditioning for a school play 10 years ago :P

Oh, Larkin. Love it. "Church Going" is a masterpiece.