If I were asked what might be the largest genre of poetry, I would likely answer “the poetry of longing.” I could likely classify a lot of poetry that’s been written as the expression of longing for what might be, for what might have been, for what is, for what can never be, for opportunities both lost and realized, even for getting what one wants (or doesn’t).
This rumination on poetry and longing started while I was reading The Road Not Taken: Finding America in thePoem Everyone Loves and Almost Everyone Gets Wrong by David Orr (more on that soon). Orr is writing about Robert Frost’s “The Road Not Taken,” which has an interesting genesis and an even more fascinating history. Part is partially has to do with longing, longing for the choices we do and don’t make.
Two recent collections of poetry seemed to underscore this idea of poetry and longing: Guinevere in Baltimore by Shelley Puhak and Little Spells by Jennifer Sweeny. The two collections are about as different as you can imagine, but the idea of longing permeates both.
To continue reading, please see my post today at Tweetspeak Poetry.