Last April I wrote a "poem" a day. This April, I'm doing well to read a poem a day. Which makes me think that maybe that's the way it should be. I mean, if we want to talk about slow poetry, let's talk consumption. How many times do you actually spend a sizeable chunk of time with only one poem (or section of a long poem)? I think most of us who even bother with such things typically breeze through multiple books, journals, reviews, blogs, etc. a week, or even a day. For those of us who are in the academic or publishing industries (or wanna be), it's something akin to literary speed-up. At the same time, however, the only occasions on which I've really "sat" with a poem lately have been in class.
What the hell is the point of speed-reading poetry? Or said another way, if the point is to speed read poetry, then what the hell good is it?
I'm not talking well-wrought-urn crap. Even if it's poetry that's flip and jokey, timing is everything.
Perhaps, as we continue to transition into a post-literatre society, school study of "literature" will take the form of memorization, coupled with performance (as it has at most times in most cultures). Now that would slow us down, alright.
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