Tuesday, March 13, 2007

From Poetry Daily. This is too funny:

Thank You for Saying Thank You
—Charles Bernstein

This is a totally
accessible poem.
There is nothing
in this poem
that is in any
way difficult
to understand.
All the words
are simple &
to the point.
There are no new
concepts, no
theories, no
ideas to confuse
you. This poem
has no intellectual
pretensions. It is
purely emotional.
It fully expresses
the feelings of the
author: my feelings,
the person speaking
to you now.
It is all about
communication.
Heart to heart.
This poem appreciates
& values you as
a reader. It
celebrates the
triumph of the
human imagination
amidst pitfalls &
calamities. This poem
has 90 lines,
269 words, and
more syllables than
I have time to
count. Each line,
word, & syllable
have been chosen
to convey only the
intended meaning
& nothing more.
This poem abjures
obscurity & enigma.
There is nothing
hidden. A hundred
readers would each
read the poem
in an identical
manner & derive
the same message
from it. This
poem, like all
good poems, tells
a story in a direct
style that never
leaves the reader
guessing. While
at times expressing
bitterness, anger,
resentment, xenophobia,
& hints of racism, its
ultimate mood is
affirmative. It finds
joy even in
those spiteful moments
of life that
it shares with
you. This poem
represents the hope
for a poetry
that doesn't turn
its back on
the audience, that
doesn't think it's
better than the reader,
that is committed
to poetry as a
popular form, like kite
flying and fly
fishing. This poem
belongs to no
school, has no
dogma. It follows
no fashion. It
says just what
it says. It's
real.


*

Charles Bernstein
Girly Man
The University of Chicago Press

2 comments:

Molly Fisk said...

Peter, That made my day, what a ridiculous and very timely poem! Thank you for printing it here. I was tracking a thread on Google about my friend Forrest Hamer, and that's how I came across your blog. Glad to meet you here, I'll investigate further. And I'm so glad you got such a crowd at your reading. I've been teaching one of Kathleen Flenniken's poems for years (about Mary Todd Lincoln), and have corresponded with her via e-mail, so it was nice to see her mentioned too. Have a wonderful time with your new book, and let me know if you're coming to read anywhere near Sacramento.

Best,
Molly Fisk

Peter said...

Hi Molly:
Thanks for stopping by.
I am enjoying Forrest's book a lot.
Can you suggest any reading series in Sacramento? Send me an email?