it’s never one poem that changes me

The revelations I get from reading poetry are so tiny and inward. It’s never one poem that changes me. For instance, I looked at Pam Rehm’s poems for a number of years and had very little response. I’d call her my favourite poet now. But it was not something that I recognized for a long time. It’s like falling in love, but in an arranged marriage over many years. Strangely, while writing my own poems, I’ve usually had to have one of her books in my hands. And this was going on long before I liked her poems. I was dependent on the tactility of that book just to write my own stuff. Could I have acquired a taste for her poems through my hands? (Now I’m thinking about Oliver Sacks.) What’s certainly true however: I spend significantly more time with books of poetry that are easy to tote, hold and to flip through than ones that aren’t. If I had larger hands, it’s very possible that I’d love other poets.

- Emily Tristan Jones, in conversation with The LeHave Review, which profiles one poem/poet each season. You can read the whole thing here

No comments: