Yesterday as part of Wayland Reads, I was fortunate to hear Robert Pinsky, former United States' Poet Laureate, share his poems and thoughts.
Inspired and awed by his incredible artistry, poise, voice, and words, I listened carefully as a writer, teacher and seeker of truth and beauty.
Pinsky's presentation was essentially a conversation with the audience. Relaxed and smiling, he created a give-and-take that was well received by the many poetry enthusiasts in the audience.
His words that resounded to me included the following:
"Poetry is a fundamental human art."
"Poetry is something people do--it is natural in us."
We have to "get over the idea that poetry is a test."
"Part of the pleasure is the repeated listening."
Look up favoritepoem.org to see Americans of all walks of life share their favorite poems.
"Poetry is the most natural of all arts."
"The poem is on an individual scale."
In response to a young girl's question regarding classroom poetry analysis, Pinsky suggested that "physical proximity" to poetry creates an appetite for analysis, and after you experience poetry you are ready for analysis.
Pinsky prefers to think of himself as composing poetry rather than writing poetry since his poetry is often created with words, not always pen and paper.
He talked about poetry and children, playing with words, and the fact you were probably "writing poems" before you were born or before you had words.
He discussed the intersection of song and poems, and pointed to the fact that they belong to a spectrum rather than distinct categories.
I'm so happy that I had the chance to hear Robert Pinsky in person. I must say he strengthened my interest, enjoyment and understanding of poetry in a joyful way.