Tuesday, 2 June 2009

Poets Corner w/ Professor Tim Conley

Back for a second term on TMTM, Professor Tim Conley joined me on May 31st to talk poetry. Having a professor in the house, I could ask him to define line metres and sonnets, but we also talked about the fact that we don't want people to continue to think of poetry as something that's elitist, snobby or inaccessible. There is a poet out there for everyone. Go ahead and discover a favourite poet this summer. Take a poet to the beach or into your own backyard/balcony, put your feet up and ENJOY!

Marianne Moore's work reminded me too much of my English courses back in the day at UWO. I played a track of her reading her poem, "Bird-witted", and appreciated her talent with words (she is a constant editor), but didn't fall in love. Moore had an amazing life as a 20th century poet, and I am not dismissing her work, just saying that she isn't for me at this time. She may be for you, though. If you connect with her, drop a comment/email my way.

On the other hand, I will be looking for poetry by Lisa Jarnot. Tim read a piece from her most recent work, NIGHT SCENES, and I enjoyed the playfulness of her lines, and her facility with wordplay. Here is Lisa reading from her work RING OF FIRE (animation by Chris Amhaus).

If you are in the mood for something more serious, you might appreciate the talent of Palestinian poet Mahmoud Darwish. It wasn't until Tim started reading a piece from Unfortunately, It Was Paradise, that I recalled that I had indeed heard of the very famous poet. The beauty of his words were unmistakable, the visual quality of the piece drawing me in immediately to a time and place.

I have always loved poetry read in Arabic, even though I don't understand a word besides "habibi/habibti". Here is a reading of Darwish's poem, "State of Siege" read at his memorial in 2008. First in Arabic and then in English.

Visit your local library and spend a few minutes in the poetry section, or ask a librarian for some assistance. If you live in Toronto click here for the Toronto Public Library site. Used bookstores are also great place to start.

Shout Out! to 11 week old Simone for sharing her dad with us.

Photo Credit: photo of Prof. Tim Conley by donna g

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