Thursday, March 01, 2007

Poem for Poetry Thursday

Happy Poetry Thursday. I am in Atlanta for the AWP Conference--will post photos and updates later tonight.

Today’s poem is a found poem, found on (read: shamefully lifted from) the back cover reviews of a few poetry books. I was daydreaming that if I got my manuscript published, what would it say on the back cover. And then I thought of all the melodramatic text that goes in some of those reviews and testimonials, full of contrasts. This is one I really want to refine so I’ll post a revision next week. Could use suggestions for a title.



What I Want Someone to Say on the Back Cover of My First Poetry Collection

Say I am a hammer. Say I am a velvet wrecking ball, a rip tooth saw, a nine-millimeter with one bullet left in the chamber. Say my poetry is that bullet. This collection frightens and comforts you. It is my best work ever, in which I have brought all of my faculties to bear. Say my words leave you stripped to the core, to the underlife you never knew existed. Say I’ve created a new poetic that beckons the best traditions of the Masters. I have created a shower of metaphors plucked from annihilation for this reckoning, shining a spotlight on an America hardly ever seen in contemporary literature. Say these poems evoke sympathy for the damned, yet celebrate our resilience. Say this is a must-read for anyone who has ever truly lived. Say that this is the present you’re already homesick for.

20 comments:

Brian said...

I think that is a great back cover. How about for a title.

"Serrated Society"

pepektheassassin said...

Why not? This works for me! :)

Dennis said...

I love the power suggested by the words within.

Regina Clare Jane said...

Wow- I'd buy it! You go, January!

gautami tripathy said...

If that is on the backcover, I would go for it!

gautami
Parallel Streams

RomanceWriter said...

Oh my god, I love it. I am doing a post linking to this.

RomanceWriter said...

My title suggestion

Poet Laureate

Carolee said...

i expect to see this on a book coming to shelves near me soon! I love how it demands attention with all of the command-style sentences. and i love how it reveals how you'd like your work to be seen, how you want to be as a poet. the words in it are so strong and big ... and yet there's an implied vulnerability.

have fun at the conference!

Poet with a Day Job said...

This is so great. I loved the title AND the idea. I am especially in love with the final line. I feel the desire to write the poems you want coming through this description, and I also feel a bittersweet echo of fear from the speaker, worry that this has not been accomplished in the poems. It's really clever because this poem does accomplish it.

paris parfait said...

That would definitely work for the back cover! Lots of power in those words. xo

Left-handed Trees... said...

I am completely inept with titles--but I want to read this on the back of your first poetry collection. I mean it...
Love,
D.

Clockworkchris said...

Your idea was so wonderful and that it is a fantastic poem. Man I wish I had something other than a picture on the back of my books now.

Catherine said...

Wow! You set high standards for yourself, if you want your poetry to live up to that description. But I do think that poetry shouldn't aim for anything less.

jim said...

Jan:

Blurbperfect!

Actually, I love this as a companion piece to my poetry contest prose poem a couple weeks ago. There's gotta be money in this sort of thing, no?

I know you're having a great time in Atlanta.

wendy said...

What a affirmation from you for you.So bravely confident, without arrogance. A bold steo that will be rewarded. Have fun basking it the poet glow.

January said...

Wendy, I think poem is affirmation of my arrogance!

January said...

Thanks everyone for the feedback. Will see out all of your poems when I return from Atlanta.

January said...

Jim, truth be told, I had your poem in mind when I wrote mine. Although, I did not lift any copy from "Pictures."

Wish you were here!

Emily said...

I think you already have the perfect title. This was fantastic. I really liked the velvet wrecking ball and the present you are homesick for...that is a beautiful line.

Crafty Green Poet said...

The present you are already homesick for was what grabbed me most too...

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