Monday, January 31, 2011

Thinking About Poem Titles

is not something I often do. I should do it more often. I certainly know that poets think about them a lot and choose them very carefully. Nothing happens accidentally in poems, and that includes their names.

When you stop and think about it, titles can be fascinating. Whether it's the title doubling as the first line of the poem or the title AS the first line of the poem or the title which makes no sense at first glance or the title that makes perfect sense (or both) or the title that's a red herring or...

You get the point. But I think I'm going to start paying closer attention to titles and see what I notice.

I'll start with this one, which is called "Blizzard" and involves a blizzard but, at least from what I can tell, is not really about a blizzard, not a literal one at, this looking more closely at titles thing is kind of fun...


After midnight the blizzard howls itself out,
the wind sleeps, a tired lover.
Before bed, I think of you
and play the Meistersinger quintet
over and over, singing
along on all the parts,
dancing though the house
like a polar bear who thinks
it has joined the ballet.

Read the rest of this poem at The Writer's Almanac. Then I think you'll have a better idea of what I mean about the title.

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