Why I read poetry, and why this exists
I think it was Robert Frost who said, “A poem begins as a lump in the throat, a sense of wrong, a homesickness, a lovesickness.” And then I would like to believe that after awhile it transforms, changes, molds you, together with the words, until there is nothing left but your hands, holding “emptiness, wholeness; a cave, a cathedral.” (B.H. Fairchild)
This is an attempt to find bits and pieces of my life tucked away in poems, waiting to be found, waiting to meet me, again, in another universe. I think I have lived through worlds, a hundred of them, a thousand, little puzzles told by poets who knew exactly what I was feeling, even if I couldn’t give them names for it.
Like other things I can’t explain, this is just something I need to do.
Written 10 August 2005.
Postscript: I’ve been getting a lot of letters lately, comments, too, and letters disguised as comments. Mostly to talk to me about their sadness and love, and that exquisite beauty of irony, pain and melancholy. Thank you. Yes, I have been reading poems every day for the past few years. Yes, I have been posting every day. Yes, most of them are private. Yes, sometimes I reread old entries and feel that I am ready to share them now. No, not a lot of people know about this, and I can’t remember sharing them with friends. Yes, some of these poems come from books that I have with me, and some were copied and written down in old sketchbooks, journals, random sheets of paper I have with me whenever I visited the library. No, this is not a resource for scholarly and academic work, and I’m sorry I can’t help you out with the poem you are looking for. No, I don’t earn money from this. Yes, I quote poetry in my entries sometimes. No, I do not and will never claim these poems as my own. Yes, everything written here is all the days of my life blurring into one another. Yes, I write. No, I don’t want to do anything else, except write some more and read some more, and maybe — just maybe — receive long love letters addressed to me.
Written 25 March 2008.
Dear reader: I almost said, dear read-dear, because words are flying a thousand miles a minute in my head lately, and sometimes they all get jumbled up, and yes, you are dear to me, you who have stumbled here just now, looking bleary-eyed and soul-weary. I have been receiving more and more letters lately. Please know that I am trying to get back to you as soon as I can. If you know me in person, to answer your question: yes, this is a little corner that I have been keeping since 2005. Come sit with me. You see, this is a part of my life that I am unraveling in silence. I am sorry I haven’t told you about it, but I want to keep quiet, and I hope you understand that I want to keep it that way for years and years. As for you, dear stranger, well, hello. This is as good as any other place to meet, so I am happy that you are here. You asked me if the title of my blog came from this quote by Johann Wolfgang von Goethe:
“A man should hear a little music, read a little poetry, and see a fine picture every day of his life, in order that worldly cares may not obliterate the sense of the beautiful which God has implanted in the human soul.”
No, but it is beautiful. Thank you for showing it to me. As for the most common questions I have had the pleasure of receiving: yes, there are posts every day. I shall try not to repeat myself. No, I am not a Lit major, something that makes me sad sometimes, but also relieved, because at least I never read for requirement which makes my brain hurt. Yes, I am a writer. Yes and no, in terms of whether I think I am a good one; the answer depends on my fluctuating self-belief and the number of drinks I’ve had in one sitting. Yes, I’m a melancholy
fuck bastard, thank you. (Edited, because in retrospect, I didn’t mean it that way.) Yes, I am sorry for not posting the source/book where I found the poems: most of them, especially the entries a few years back, are all hurriedly copied from books I have borrowed in the library. Once I have more time in my hands I will go back to the beginning and try to provide references for each one. Please understand that I do not profit from this and if you happen to be one of the authors and would like me to remove your poem, I would do so. You only have to ask. Yes, sometimes my posts can be obscure; let’s leave it at that. No, please don’t post your work in the comments for marketing purposes; this is not the place for that. Also: I edit the comments referring to who I am, and where I live, to protect myself. I need to stay hidden. It is important to me. Yes, you can write me here: readalittlepoetry at gmail dot com.
Yes, I was in love, still am, and yes, I’m a fool, a constant fool. If I wasn’t you wouldn’t be here. This will not exist.
Written 19 February 2011.