I can’t believe how many books of poetry I own that I have only leafed through; worse, there are piles of books I haven’t cracked open yet. I buy books of poetry for so many good reasons:
1) To catch up with poets I should have read decades ago since I basically studied science after high school, and I missed those lit courses.
2) To read works from poets who amaze me. They are everywhere. I can’t resist them.
3) As payment to enter contests because I appreciate contests that, instead of charging a submission fee, have you purchase one of their press’s books. I like that idea.
4) Because I love poetry, believe in poetry, turn to poetry to save me, and like to have it surrounding me everywhere. You know, bathroom poetry, kitchen poetry, porch poetry, litter box poetry, standing in line poetry, library-borrowed poetry. Well, maybe not litter-box poetry. That’s ew.
5) Because I’ll buy your book of poems if I know you, go to your reading event, spend time at a workshop with you, or am friends with you on social media. Because that’s what poetry friends do.
6) Not to mention keeping up with journals-that-I-subscribe-to poetry and daily-email-poems poetry.
I usually graze the journals. I read at least 4 email poems almost every day. The thing I am most unhappy about (in this realm) is that I don’t spend more time reading the books I have. That I don’t write enough reviews about books I love. That I don’t know if I will actually open up myself to all of these books before I die.
So I wish to make a commitment, uttered here in your presence.
In the evenings, before I sleep I will read poetry.
I will turn off the radio (I don’t even have a TV, but listening to the radio can be just as addictive).
I will shut down the computer and stop looking at FB and Twitter.
I will stop playing spider solitaire.
I will nourish my soul instead.
Next on the list: yoga