Friday, December 7, 2018

Poetry on NPR

I respond deeply to bad blues, bad jazz, and bad poetry. I groan, wince, make guttural sounds. I can’t take it, I tell ya. Lemme out!

Driving through the night last night, Elaine and I heard an NPR segment with a poet recommending books of poetry to give as gifts. “Poetry is short,” the poet said, “so you can actually reroute your day productively in like five minutes with something that really captures your imagination.” Well, no. I groaned.

Then came the recommended books, with sample passages. Here’s nature: “Perhaps the butterflies are mute because / no one would believe their terrible stories.” Well, no. The poet would, for one. The recommender would, for two. And from another book, more nature, this time bees: “tipsy, sun drunk / and heavy with thick knitted leg warmers / of pollen.” After those lines I made guttural sounds.

And no, NPR, the witches’ song from Macbeth is not a sonnet. I’d better use up my wince here.

A related post
A Palm memo (With some bad poetry)

[I have reproduced the lines accurately, after checking the texts.]

comments: 5

Frex said...

"knitted leg warmers of pollen"???

I truly laughed out loud, even though it's painfully bad.
So bad, it's almost genius!

I picture the bee dancing to "What a Feeling" (like Jennifer Beal, you know? in her famous leg warmers in "Flashdance").

Michael Leddy said...

Of course I know that dance scene — it’s so iconic. :)

The bees remind me of the personified creatures in The Stuffed Owl , a great anthology of bad poetry. I’ll look for my copy and try to find a companion passage later today.

Frex said...

I have given up on assuming people know iconic film stuff--this week a couple coworkers told me they didn't know who Obi-Wan Kenobi is!

Michael Leddy said...

Yikes. And there’s probably someone somewhere who’s conflated Flashdance and the Jane Fonda workout videos.

Frex said...

My favorite "Flashdance" reference is in "The Full Monty": one of the unemployed industrial workers criticizes the dancer's lack of welding skills.

"I hope she dances better than she welds."

My coworkers reference movies I've never heard of. This week, "Tales from the Hood", 1 & 2.