First, an apology to anyone eating when they read my last post. Several people told me they mis-read “Bloody Bowls” as “Bloody Bowels.” I missed that somehow when I was coming up with a title. Now Bloody Bowels is all I see. Apologies to Laura Kasischke as well. No poet would want her poem associated with hemorrhoids.
I also wanted to highlight a few excerpts from an interview with poet Billy Collins on the Diane Rehm Show yesterday. A listener asked Mr. Collins if he thought tweeting was a new form of poetry. He didn’t mince words in his reply:
Well, if it is it’s a very degraded form of poetry. Someone said recently that what we are suffering from in contemporary times is not an excess of information. We are suffering from an excess of insignificance. And it is that I think with media like Facebook, there is a kind of presumption that the world wants to know that you’re going out to have a pizza. Not only that but people will then respond and say, oh pizza. I like pizza or good for you. What kind are you getting? This is just beyond me. I mean, there must be better things to do like studying Latin or something, besides indulging in that.
I love this: we are suffering from an excess of insignificance.
Later he responds to a listener who hosted a “poetry dinner party” in which each dinner guest had to bring a poem to share:
I think it’s a great idea to get poetry out of the libraries. I mean not to take the books out, but to see that poetry can have a life outside of the classroom, outside of the library.
Sounds like a Poem Elf Manifesto to my ears.
You can read the transcript of the interview here.