Why “Poem of the Day”?

August 7, 2012 § Leave a comment

I started Looking Back at Orpheus as an outlet for thoughts on music, literature, occasionally film, that sort of thing. Somehow I got in the habit of posting one poem per day from books in my collection as well as the occasional new book I came across in my job as literary selector for a major Midwestern university library whose name starts with Iowa and ends with University. I told myself it would be good in terms of discipline: making sure I had a poem “up there” every day. There were a few people who really seemed to dig the series, which made me happy even if I was being compared to Garrison Keillor.

I told myself that by typing in the poems, line by line, word by word, it would help me “get into” the poem, and possibly jumpstart my almost-terminally stalled poetry writing. Inasmuch as I’ve gotten a better sense of the mechanics of the poems I love, I can’t say it’s helped me to write my own poems — I’m still where I was.  But, let me be honest: I enjoy doing this. That’s reason enough.

But here’s the reason for the post. Looking Back at Orpheus is going to expand beyond the “poem of the day” series, and so, intermingled with the aforementioned series will be more normal blog posts dealing with my observations and obsessions. Speaking of obsessions, one of the things I’ve been driven to write about lately is the music of Peter Hammill and Van der Graaf Generator,  both from an analytic and decidedly personal standpoint. That topic will be coming up frequently over the next several months, and I apologize if that’s not your cup of tea.

Of course, there will be other things too — writings about the new and newly discovered stuff – with an eye and ear toward the marginalized, the “out,” and the unheard/unread.

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