Tuesday, December 23, 2008


I don't remember when I first got to meet poetry in my life. It must have been when I was a couple of years old at last. We had to learn kids poems by heart in kindergarten and we also did "newyears' letters", a tradition whereby kids write a letter to read to their parents on new years day, generally written in rhyme to help with memorization and reading out loud.

I can not say that I have very vivid memories of this era but I do still know one of these songs/rhymes by heart, even after more than 27 years... The next poem that I really remember must have been from when I was 'much' older, around ten or so and is about looking at clouds .

Later in my life I studied poetry for several years in a poetry expression class but of those six years hardly anything really stuck, a poem here and there but nothing 'major'... Maybe I was not very susceptible at that time or maybe there was so much to see, learn and experience that other things won over poetry.

It was in my fourth year of university (which for me meant that I was still in my first year, as I did four years over passing the first year) that I got back in touch with poetry through various courses. From this period comes my new found love of word-music, largely inspired by M. Bartosik. I got to know British and American poets, studied Donne, Blake and others with Prof. Wellens and got to meet them and so many other ones, in different languages in the classes of Michel.

The most inspirational classes in Poetry I got from a professor who was a poet himself. I have written about him as well... He was as inspirational as the poems he made us read. He could talk about poetry as if it was, and I believe that to him it might have been, an essential part of life like water, food or the air we breathe. He was a good man this professor and I will always regret not having told him how much he really meant to me.

Not all poetry in life is purely written though. Some things are like poetry without being written down. Some songs are more poetry than song for me... Leonard Cohen is one of the singer/songwriters that I consider poet more than singer. His lyrics are deeper than normal lyrics go.

Now, in my life after university I have taken a couple of poetrybooks off the shelves to revisit them. Brodsky is a name that comes to mind ("the hawk's cry in autumn"), so are Blake, Shakespeare and Wallace Stevens.

People who teach you to savior poetry teach you something of immense value...

Labels: , , ,