At the beginning of the month, Poetry Month here in Canada, I did this post on how poetry is not my bag, but that I would like to have be my bag. I thus embarked on a quest to:
1. Find more poet recommendations out there, especially Canadian.
2. Take part in Carolyn’s (Rosemary And Reading Glasses) offer of herself as a poetry concierge to anyone who would answer her questions six (quite a romantic poetry allusion I’ve just made, see bottom of post for answer).
In my first quest, the lovely Alexis Kienlen (an excellent poet in her own right) recommended these Canadian poets for my perusal: Jennica Harper, Kimmy Beach, Marita Dachsel (especially Glossolalia). I ordered Kimmy Beach’s The Last Temptation of Bond as I am a big Bond movie addict, and her interview on The Next Chapter on CBC totally sold me on this book.
As for the second quest, Carolyn the Poetry Concierge came through just today, where you can see my answers to her questions. I was a little afraid she would have some trouble as I knew my she might not be familiar with some of the books I listed for her, but she worked around it. Her recommendation for me was spot on, and I was actually very impressed with her analysis of my reading interests. Oddly enough, I had never really spent much time analyzing myself as a reader before, let alone had someone else analyze me, and I found her to be extremely astute on this front.
I got the sense that Tania likes well-developed characters, vignette-like structures, and a strong sense of place. It’s these last two qualities, in particular, that lead me to recommend that American poet everyone thinks he knows, Robert Frost.
Well developed characters are a must for me, and I am obsessed with world building in fiction; if you haven’t developed a place, either real or imagined, I’m putting the book down 9 times out of 10. Of course, I have heard of Robert Frost, but I honestly can’t say I remember reading much of his poetry. Carolyn specifically recommended “The Wood Pile” and I really loved it. Frost’s small observations of his surroundings, leading to larger things, and the story that even a wood pile can tell if you really look at it.
…I thought that only
Someone who lived in turning to fresh tasks
Could so forget his handiwork …
My favourite part of the poem, which tells the character of a person in a mere 3 lines of poetry. Would that I could have the skill for such efficiency of phrasing, but I must blather on, it’s in my nature. I’ll be heading to the bookstore this weekend and picking up some more Frost, I honestly can’t wait. A huge thank you to the Carolyn for offering her services and for being so good at what she does.
Oh, right! The romantic references to questions six? Can anyone take a guess?
They come from an old Scottish ballad called Captain Wedderburn’s Courtship, the story of all the hoops Lord Rosslyn’s daughter asks the Captain to jump through before bedding her. She makes him answers questions six (all riddles) in his attempt to woo her. It’s also one of the folk songs Great Big Sea covers (I manage to get something Canadian into most posts, don’t I?)