Thursday, November 15, 2007

What Poetry Should...

Someone came to this blog yesterday by googling “things poems should contain.”

The reference was to my recent review of Steven Waling’s latest collection and, in particular, these lines from one of his poems:

Poetry should contain/ coffee and croissants

I hope that was helpful! It is of course the only true statement that can be made on this subject. Unless anyone can think of anything else?

12 comments:

dun dyvan said...

I've not yet read Waling's poem, but 'poetry should contain/ coffee and croissants' seems to carry an uneasy suggestion of the irredeemably bourgeois, as if a once great art form is reduced to being the preserve of the chattering classes, sitting around in Costa and Starbucks, or in their perfect designer kitchens writing arch verses about cats. (Shudder...) Give me poetry that contains beer and chips, or red wine and bacon sandwiches.

Colin Will said...

"Poetry is the achievement of the synthesis of hyacinths and biscuits." Carl Sandburg

Matt Merritt said...

From the relatively little I know of Steven Waling's poetry, I think he's being ironic, isn't he? His poetry has certainly contained beer and, if not bacon sandwiches, meat pasties.
I like the sound of the book. Another to add to the to-buy list.

Julie Carter said...

According to Scavella, they should contain vowels. She's so picky.

Anonymous said...

Poetry should contain Little & Large.


ABJ

Rob said...

Yes, Steven Waling is certainly being ironic. If you read my review, dun, you'll see that clearly. It's part of a cut-up poem.

Thanks for those other suggestions. Good stuff.

Andrew Shields said...

I find consonants helpful, too.

dun dyvan said...

I did assume he was being ironic. The fact that I shuddered at the idea of poetry being associated with coffee and croissants is a tribute to the effectiveness of his technique, as described in the review (which I read with interest and pleasure) – not that I thought he was expressing an opinion.

Dave said...

Laughter and shadows.

Rob said...

dun - I understand what you were saying now. Thanks for clarifying. I guess the irony stretches even to the idea that poetry "should" do anything whatsoever.

Andrew and Dave, thanks for your contributions.

Steven Waling said...

I like sitting around in Costa - or preferably, Nero's - where do you think I write my best poetry?

I don't like irony... oh no, that's ironing...

(there's also bacon in some of the poems, by the way...)

Andrew Philip said...

Tempted to say poetry should contain nothing and explode everything, but that sounds a bit too clever, so I'll content myself with ... er ... having said it.