Monday, April 14, 2008

For National Poetry Month, I've been going to work at the library in my one suit and brown bow tie, distributing a pretty wide range of poems from a box at the circ desk. The distribution of people's likes and dislikes is interesting: people find Frank O'Hara depressing (it's one of the funny early poems), prefer Rae Armantrout to William Blake, seem to really enjoy Bob Perelman's "Trees" (from his early book Primer, which is pretty odd) and Fanny Howe, while not expressing much interest in Auden. Everyone, of course, likes Dickinson, Silverstein, Lewis Carroll, and many kids just want to read whatever they get out loud--I got to hear a nine-year-old (I'd guess) boy recite Hart Crane's "Passage" the other day. I'm pretty pleased that so many people get excited about the idea, having been ready for rejection when I started this little project.

Today an elderly woman pulled "Often I am Permitted to Return to a Meadow" from the box, looked at it, and asked me, "Are you Robert Duncan?" I simply didn't know what to say.


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