I thought that today I would counteract the "bad poetry" vibe, created yesterday, by looking at an anthology called Good Poems (selected and introduced by Garrison Keillor) [811.008 GOO]. The poems in the book have all been heard on Keillor's radio segment, "The Writer's Almanac." If you're not familiar with the daily offerings, you owe it to yourself to browse the website. (For a listing of stations that broadcast "The Writer's Almanac," click here.
Keillor writes in the Introduction, "Good poems tend to incorporate some story, some cadence or shadow of story." I believe he's correct, don't you?
Here's one of the poems from Good Poems that I think is really, really good:
by C.G. Hanzlicek
I’m scrambling an egg for my daughter.
"Why are you always whistling?" she asks.
"Because I’m happy."
And it’s true,
Though it stuns me to say it aloud;
There was a time when I wouldn’t
Have seen it as my future.
It’s partly a matter
Of who is there to eat the egg:
The self fallen out of love with itself
Through the tedium of familiarity,
Or this little self,
So curious, so hungry,
Who emerged from the woman I love,
A woman who loves me in a way
I’ve come to think I deserve,
Now that it arrives from outside me.
Everything changes, we’re told,
And now the changes are everywhere:
The house with its morning light
That fills me like a revelation,
The yard with its trees
That cast a bit more shade each summer,
The love of a woman
That both is and isn’t confounding,
And the love
Of this clamor of questions at my waist.
Clamor of questions,
You clamor of answers,
Here’s your egg.
Head over to Dori Reads for this week's Poetry Friday Round-Up and more good poetry!