Oh poetry how I hate thee.
Started to try to read Anne Sexton – The Complete Poems. But how hard I find most poetry these days. There seems to be no ‘iconic moments-‘ or epiphanies resident in most of what I read, merely personal insight that is not very insightful. The conversational and the confessional on the whole leave me cold.
I long for the tasty word combo ‘butchered time’, the great phrase ‘hope is the thing with feathers’, an at least half decent metaphor ‘the moon was a ghostly galleon tossed on stormy seas’, some striking visual imagery ‘ Bent double, like old beggars under sacks, / Knock-kneed, coughing like hags, we cursed through sludge’; a compactness, a concreteness, a completeness.
Perhaps I was exposed at too young an age to imagism and metaphysical conceits? If Magritte’s The Empire of Light is the poetry I seek then a house, a tree and a lamppost is just a list of three objects. What is lacking? Some element of mystery, puzzlement, wonderment.
Most poetry to my palate now reads like the bad jokes or overly sentimental swill you get in cheap greetings cards.