Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Brendan MacOdrum's "If You Read This"

Each Saturday, I have a post called Saturday Good Reads, a collection of posts, poems, photos and videos that I've run across during the week that I think are so good that I want to share them with others. I can't recall a time when I called out something during the week, or at least called out something with a separate blog post.

I just read a poem entitled "If You Read This," by Brendan MacOdrum at Oran's Well. It is a long poem, and no one writes long poems any more, that is, if they want them to be read.

I read this long poem. I read it straight through to the end, and then I read it again.

This is part of what I said in my comment:

"I read this and I think of Whitman. I’ve thought of Whitman all the way through. He wrote a song, too; called it that, in fact. He sang about himself and ended up singing about America. You wrote a song and ended up singing about far more than yourself. Whether intended or not, you’re singing about all of us.

"It’s rare when I’m moved enough to read something and think 'profound.' This is one of those rare times."

People often say today that no one will listen to a long speech, read a long book, or read a long poem. People say our attention spans have dramatically shortened, and we're only capable of sound-bite speech and sound-bite thinking.

I read "If You Read This," and I know people are wrong.


S. Etole said...

Headed that way!

Anonymous said...

I'm really humbled, Glynn. Thanks, I really didn't think anyone would bother to read it, but it had to go up anyway. Thanks for showing that reading can defy a medium as omnipotent as this. -- Brendan

Mark Kerstetter said...

This poem demands more than most poems get these days: read once and forgotten.