What is your current poetry diet?
I currently try to write at least a poem a week. I am also part of an online writing community and I read poetry every day. I do believe poetry is important to me - to write and read - so I include it as much as I possibly can.
I usually read a lot of poetry from a lot of different poets, and not one particular person. That's why I am going to opt for my favourite poem which would have to be If- by Rudyard Kipling. I love the rhythm and rhyme to it and the message there. It was brilliant, and the more I read it, the more I fall in love with it. My favourite line would be, 'If you can talk with crowds and keep your virtue,/ Or walk with kings - nor lose the common touch.' That is because I feel strongly about conformity, and he pinpoints my thoughts about it perfectly.
Who is your favorite living poet? Why?
When it comes to modern poetry I usually read poems written by unpublished poets and not published ones. But one of those would be Margaret Atwood. I love her poem Siren Song. Mostly because sirens intrigue me, and I like the how the poem itself was also the poem as well, that gradually drew me in with the promise of a secret. The form was also done very well - I liked how free it was and where she inserted the breaks.
Should a reader have to work hard to understand the meaning of a poem?
This is actually a question which could form a whole discussion! I am going to try and keep this as brief as possible. I do think a reader shouldn't have to work too hard to be able to deem one meaning from the poem. With the favourites I mentioned of If- and Siren Song it is easy enough to deem what is meant. But there can be more than one meaning or message to a poem, and those can be hidden! I think having deeper messages to poems which may first appear simple or only seem to have one, is great fun for me. :)
What does poetry mean to you?
Poetry means a lot to me! I believe it is a way of shedding a new light on something we might not have considered this way before. It helps me discover new perspectives on all sorts of things - from situations, to people to even objects. It's also a way for me to release my feelings, putting my own emotions into words that I can share with others. I love decoding complicated poetry, discovering a meaning that is personal to you and sharing it with others. I like experimenting with forms and stringing together beautiful words to make something new. Poetry in general makes me happy - like reading a good book does.
Bonus Olivia shares with us today a quote from a poem she wrote called “Disjointed Entanglements”:
Disjointed entanglements that proclaim
emotion through flurried speech, oh
what to gain through such a small confession...
now then, let the flowing stop.
Cold flames ignite within pure black souls
as letters strung together love but hate
their connection, never to be severed and free.
A happy sadness to which they are glued.
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