So we got our office copy of Poetry, which I looked for our ad, read the Langston Hughes and then stopped dead.
Well, my first reaction, was – oh right, Poetry has a podcast, and then I laughed. But maybe I should back up a little bit.
If you look into the Letters of the Editors section, you will find a letter from the poetry group of the Treemont Retirement Community, in Texas. They have worked their way through several substantial collections over the course of four years, including the work of Garrison Keillor, and decided that a group subscription to Poetry would be very stimulation. They were not pleased with the end product, saying that there was “no rhyme and very little reason” and complaining that the poems “are neither enjoyable nor enlightening”.
To give Poetry due credit, they published the letter and interviewed the poetry group on their podcast, which usually serves as an audio tour of the newest magazine – which is not meant to be derogatory, it’s interesting to listen to.
I encourage listening to the podcast – I think it is interesting…and hilarious. I don’t think poetry is obliged to be accessible. However, taste is personal, and I think it is a fascinating moment of justification and understanding. I particularly like when they discuss the role of humour in poetry, and the role of the writer or intellectual in society.