February check-in (and a new discovery)
I’m not going to lie, I thought I had a few more days to complete this blog post, but instead I have fallen victim to the stealthy and misleading calendar month that is the 28 days of February. So, if this is uploaded late and/or seems slightly rushed and incoherent, that is probably why. But enough about me, I hope you are doing well. February has rushed by, and with it two important dates. We had Tuesday the 16 of February, pancake day (which really creped up on me), and Monday the 22 of February which was when the Prime Minister released his eagerly anticipated roadmap out of the pandemic. One of those dates was more important than the other, I’ll let you decide.
I wanted to jump on here and share a new discovery of mine that I have enjoyed throughout this month, which was perfectly square for those of you who enjoy that kind of thing (that is that the 1 day fell on a Monday, the 5 of a Friday…etc). Perhaps, for some of you, that fact will let you feel as though there is some kind of order and structure to your currently messy and chaotic life. Any who, I digress. The discovery I made was…. poetry *groans and general expressions of disappointment*. Now, I know what you’re thinking. For a lot of you, poetry sends you hurtling back to secondary school where you were forced to memorise 15 poems from an anthology to be asked in the examination, rather cruelly, to discuss only two. My memories are similarly tainted by this trauma, and I often wonder why I ever bothered learning Tissue (if you know, you know). As I set myself a New Year’s resolution to read more, I was considering new and fresh ways to achieve this goal, outside of the conventional route…picking up a book. I already, due to my degree and own interests, read a lot of plays and consume a lot of theatre. I have never got on with audiobooks, if I’m being honest, I find them slightly unnerving. So I finally decided upon attempting to read more poetry, and so far, I am really enjoying it!
If you’re looking to read more poetry, I have similar advice to what I said with regard to finding time to read more books. That is to find ideas, narratives and characters that you think you will enjoy reading about, it doesn’t have to be a ‘classic’ or canonical, a great entry point is to just find something that takes your personal interest. You can research and find out as much or as little about the text you want to read beforehand. Personally, I will look at Goodreads reviews and general ratings (and, although I hate to admit it, sometimes the book cover) to find out a little bit more about what the poem is about/explores, but I won’t be completely governed by this. If I think it will interest me, I will read it anyway. I also ask people I know for recommendations, and this can be really rewarding for both you and them. The poetry I started out reading, (Mercies by Anne Sexton and The People Look Like Flowers At Last by Charles Bukowski) were both recommended to me and so, once I’ve finished them, I can discuss and share my opinions with the person who suggested them which is always fun. I find poetry so much more lyrical and expressive than most literature, they’re often much shorter and can sometimes be less than a page long, and I keep a little list in my notes app of particularly striking or memorable lines. If your aim is to read more, poetry is an accessible, fast paced and wide ranging way to begin tackling that goal.
If you would just like to ‘dip your toes’ into the world of poetry, you can access SO much poetry (for free!) at the Poetry Foundation. As always, I’d love to discuss any poetry, literature or theatre you are currently enjoying further over email.
Until next time,