Well, poetry seems to be ever more essential to me. What wonderful conversations! They're going in all directions, all the time. Here are the last three lines of Amy Clampitt's poem "Nothing Stays Put":
Poetry, and essential
Recently I've been listening to a good amount of poetry on my iPod. Most of the audio has come from the "Essential American Poets" series, created by the Poetry Foundation and available on iTunes. It's an interesting way to experience poetry and not having the text in front of you forces you to rely on your ear. How differently these poets read! I've listened to Anne Sexton, John Ashbery, William Stafford, Weldon Keyes, Philip Levine, Louise Bogan, Gerald Stern, Robert Hass, and Amy Clampitt, among others. Stafford has been a wonderful surprise, and so has, to a lesser extent, Gerald Stern. And how Amy Clampitt's voice has colored my impression of that poet. Nervous, nervous! And it's funny, I always pronounced her name clam - pitt, but in the introduction here it sounded more like clamp - it. Yes, clamp it, Amy. Or at least, slow down a little. Relax! That said, I do like her poetry. Her poems are like very well thought out essays, presented in a quirky, stammering manner. A real thinking poet; that is, a poet who delights in sharing with the reader the peculiar beauty of her own thought processes. She's also clearly a poet of place.