Sunday, November 21, 2010

Poets of the Blogosphere

I follow a lot of blogs. It's a pretty good mix of educational technology and literacy instruction, for the most part. And while I follow many bloggers who write about poetry and who share poems of others and who discuss the teaching of poetry, I don't follow many blogs written by actual poets. I know they're out there. I guess I just haven't made time to find ones that suit me. (If there's any you like, please aid my search by passing them along!)

You also have to be a bit of a voyeur, it seems, to read writers' own blogs. It's an intensely personal experience to be able to read firsthand the thoughts and poems of a poet. Maybe I'm blowing this a bit out of proportion, I don't know. Or maybe this is true of all blogs (this one included?). Again, I don't know. Or maybe I'm just biased. Perhaps lurking in my mind is that "if they were any good they'd be published and wouldn't need a blog." But that seems like a mean thought to have. Regardless, I just know I find myself sometimes not all that comfortable with reading poets directly through their blogs.

There is one exception for me, though: Fox the Poet. It's the blog of an Arizona-based poet named Christopher Fox Graham. He shares a lot of poems as well as features about local poetry slams and spoken word events in Arizona and surrounding areas. (He's also introduced me to the concept of the "Haiku Death Match," for which I am eternally grateful). Anyway, I'm not sure how I came across this blog, but I find it to be a good read.

A poem posted on Fox the Poet this week stood out to me. It's called "Orion" and it starts like this:
MapQuest the miles in the sky
it's easier to find you that way
than to traipse the hills between us
(You really should read the rest here.)

You don't find the word "MapQuest" in many poems. I like that. I like it more because he uses it as a verb. I like nouns that can also be verbs. Especially proper nouns. (Tangent alert: Are words like this uniquely 21st century? Are there proper nouns/verbs from pre-2001 that I can't think of right now?)

In the rest of the poem, Graham goes on to make numerous references to different stars that make up the constellation Orion. On the blog, he provides a visual guide to help you out, but to be honest I'd almost rather not have seen it before reading the poem. It would have been more intriguing and puzzle-like. The poem's so good, I would have headed straightaway to Google (proper noun used as a verb!) names like "Meissa" and "Saiph" and "Rigel."

The poem is also long, sprawling, and has a stream-of-consciousness feel to it. These are all things I enjoy about it. A lot of the poems Graham posts are like that. ("This Country" is a good example.) It seems as though he performs at a lot of spoken word / poetry slam type of events and I think these characteristics would make his poems quite enjoyable to hear read live. I'll have to try to make it out to Arizona someday.

So please, give Fox the Poet a try and let me know which poets out there I need to add to my Google Reader. I think it's time I broaden my horizons when it comes to my blog subscriptions.

1 comment:

  1. How wonderful to find your blog! Thanks for the link to "Fox the Poet" - it's an amazing thing to be let into the mind of a poet at work.