Friday, April 1, 2011

Opening Day for Poetry

Yesterday was opening day for major league baseball. Today begins a month devoted to poetry and poets and their fans. Seems fitting that I just read this excerpt from an interview with Etheridge Knight:

“I died in Korea from a shrapnel wound, and narcotics resurrected me. I died in 1960 from a prison sentence, and poetry brought me back to life.”

On the other hand, just this morning I read this in Mary Karr’s memoir, Lit:

“[M]y junior high principal had actually warned that any girl aiming to be a poet was doomed to become—I shit you not—no more than a common prostitute.”

[Sidenote: Mary Karr studied with Etheridge Knight in his Free People’s Poetry Workshop.]

Well there you go. Poetry lies somewhere between life-saver and criminal. Your choice.

[Art by Picasso.]

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