Mark Fraser: Day One Hundred and Fifty Eight – Not an Encore

Posted on June 17, 2011 by

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As found on Twitter, here is a poem by the U.S. Poet Laureate W.S. Merwin called “Why Some People Do Not Read Poetry”. I’m posting it because it’s often said that more people write poetry than read it. I actually think it’s quite a clever poem because it (almost) borders on gibberish, perhaps even highlighting one of the key reasons poetry isn’t read by many folk; because it’s difficult to relate to. It is this and the stream of consciousnesses form it takes (the lack of punctuation being the key marker of that) which I really like about it.

Why Some People Do Not Read Poetry
by W.S. Merwin

Because they already know that it means
stopping and without stopping they know that
beyond stopping it will mean listening
listening without hearing and maybe
then hearing without hearing and what would
they hear then what good would it be to them
like some small animal crossing the road
suddenly there but not seeming to move
at night and they are late and may be on
the wrong road over the mountain with all
the others asleep and not hitting it
that time as though forgetting it again

While I’m on the topic of poetry, I came across this yesterday; a guide on poetry submissions. I found it extremely disheartening. Maybe I won’t enter poetry prizes for a few years in light of it.

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Posted in: Mark Fraser