The Stuff of Poetry

Many people tend to equate poetry with supposedly more important things like love, war, pestilence, racial injustice, environmental destruction, death and despair, to name a few. Yet poems can be literally about anything. In his poem “Evening,” Richard Aldington simply wrote about doing the dishes, Ezra Pound, in his poem “In a Station of the Metro,” focuses on the faces of commuters in the Paris Metro. In her book Tender Buttons, Gertrude Stein wrote a series of prose poems about everyday objects, food, and rooms. And of course there’s Wordsworth and his daffodils. But while the poem may start out with the mundane, how the poet chooses to deal with it makes all the difference.

Here is my take on this subject, from my collection The Museum of Unwearable Shoes, which you can view in this new video

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