Coming Clean

Well Read

I confess. I never finished Moby Dick. Couldn’t. Didn’t want to. Never read more of Faulkner than “Barn Burning.” Refused to stick with Finnegan’s Wake. I managed to slog through Madame Bovary, Jane Eyre, Beowulf, The Golden Notebook. Weeks of my life I can never get back. I confess. These are iceberg-tip lists. I could make lit professors weep with all I haven’t forced myself to swallow. I confess. I don’t find that I’ve ever had much time to be concerned with THE CANON, with what’s considered classic. I’m not throwing shade. I’m just saying. I read Ulysses. Twice. And War and Peace, August 1914, Crime and Punishment. Oh yes. Give me Russians. Give me Russians any day. Not because they’re in the literary canon, but because they speak to me. I confess. I am more interested in my pleasure, in stories that resonate, than in faking passion. I confess … but I’m not repentant.

I think I’ve gone off course with these prose poems, lost what little hold I had on how they’re supposed to work. Time to go back to my crib sheets and get reacquainted with this form.


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Are you writing poems this month? Where can I see them? Let’s share this craziness!

As I did last year, I’ll be following along with the Poem-A-Day challenge at Robert Lee Brewer’s Poetic Asides Blog. Today’s prompt is to write a confession poem. You can post your daily poems on Brewer’s page. The top poem from each day will be included in an anthology later this year!

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2 thoughts on “Coming Clean

  1. you haven’t lost your course here. though I have never understood how a prose poem differs from ordinary prose. Is it a poem because it isn’t long enough to be an essay? BTW, I’m with you on Moby Dick, but I inhaled a lot of Faulkner — got started when my 12th-grade English teacher said we were not ready for him, which i took as a dare. And I loved The Golden Notebook, but maybe this is a generational thing — plus I had already read all the Martha Quest books. Let us know what your crib sheets say about “prose poems.”

  2. I once challenged myself to read several of the books considered “canon”. I greatly failed that challenge for the same reason. They did not speak to me. I have instead resigned myself to the fact that I will *eventually* watch the movie versions of them, if they exist, to at least get the basic stories down.

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