I jump around collections of short stories. I jump around magazines. I
have been known (blush) to jump around novels with strong plot lines.
Some things about a poem will grab my attention ahead of other poems in the
same collection so that I will read it first.
a) appearance (probably makes the first impression)
c) apparent subject (determined by a quick scan of the first strophes)
d) word rhythm (determined as above)
Any one of the above can get me reading a poem ahead of its mates. If (d)
many times I will have read for minutes and not be able to report anything
about what I read except that it sounded good in my head. Whitman does this
to me. Tennyson and late TSE also.
Does any particular appearance, title, or subject particularly interest me?
No. Good strong interesting rhythm will always get me reading and keep me
Butting in from the shadow
McIntosh, NM, USA
From: Marcia Karp <[log in to unmask]>
To: [log in to unmask] <[log in to unmask]>
Date: Saturday, June 09, 2001 1:42 PM
Subject: Re: Reading books of poetry
>Kenneth Armstrong wrote:
>> No, I'd bet nine out of ten poetry readers would agree, they read
>> by jumping around. My "in sequence" did not refer to that but to the
>> ordering of the printed language.
>Yes, I knew you meant words in their order.
>But why do we jump around poetry books?