Saturday, April 30, 2011

National Poetry Month - Last Call

After today, poetry will no longer have to do its yearly "aw shucks" blushing, while it secretly wishes people would look beyond the trivializing nature of National Poetry Month. Until next April, when it becomes "important" again. I side with Charles Bernstein's take on NPM, and yet, it did seem like the perfect span of time to get in the habit of typing in a poem per day, which is to say, for me, anyway, do a close reading. (More on that later - I plan to continue this series not by posting more poems, but by reflecting on those that I've posted for the past 30 days.)

To do something special for the last day, I decided to pay homage to four of my professors at SUNY Buffalo circa 1990-92 when I was an undergrad: Charles Bernstein, Carl Dennis, Irving Feldman, and Susan Howe. I took creative writing classes from the latter two (I also took several other classes from Howe; she was too good to pass up - as a pedagogue, she was on fire), a modern poetry survey with Bernstein, and an "epic poetry" survey with Dennis. I felt lucky to be in their company. And through Bernstein and his "Wednesdays @ 4" series, in the company of so many great poets on a weekly basis.

So, the last entry in the NPM series will be four entries, each containing several poems by one of the four poets mentioned above. Thank you Charles, Carl, Irving, and Susan; I owe you half a lifetime's worth of wonder and inspiration.

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