Poets, or most of them, take their work seriously. You can read interviews in Poets & Writers, American Poets, and The Poetry Society in the U.K., and you know that poetry is serious business, and serious work. It is serious business even for this poets who use humor in their poems and in reading them, like Billy Collins.
So it is a bit disconcerting to start reading Poetry: A Survivor’s Guide by Mark Yakich and find this in the introduction: “The first poem I remember hating was Coleridge’s ‘Kubla Khan,’ on which I had to write a report in 10th grade.” We soon discover that Yakich hated Matthew Arnold’s “Dover Beach” almost as much. And that he took only one English course in college. And that he he had read only three novels by the time he was 25.
I perhaps should have mentioned that Yakich is a professor of English at Loyola University in New Orleans. He teaches creative writing. He teaches poetry. He co-edits the literary journal New Orleans Review.
To continue reading, please see my post today at Tweetspeak Poetry.