Monday, September 15, 2008

Literary Life

So this is what people who like books normally do with their free time! Wow. I had almost forgotten what free time was, after spending the last nine years in school.

C.S. was in town after completing his mileage run and we went to a poetry reading. Perhaps it would be more correct to say that I went to a poetry reading and C.S. agreed to accompany me. The inducement of a fancy dinner and a nice evening walk helped sweeten the deal. Perks were very necessary for a poetry novice like C.S., who hadn't read a poem since Jabberwocky. Actually, he may have been a little too gleeful when he said that . . . but he can't say it anymore.

The poet was quite entertaining and the poems were very accessible and often humorous, but not simple. I was as impressed with hearing them read aloud by their creator as I had been when they were merely on the page. So impressed that I returned two days later for a poetry talk by the same poet. That was very enlightening, not to mention well-attended, although C.S. was out of town again by then, so I was on my own.

However, I was reminded that night that one should never confuse the persona of the artist that appears in the work with the actual personality of the artist himself/herself. Instead of the welcoming, gracious poet who speaks through the poems . . . well, let's just say sometimes it's better not to peek behind the curtain, Dorothy.

Now the question is: will I feel differently about the poems on the page when I read them again? That's my homework assignment, I guess. At least nowadays it's self-inflicted!

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