and hello again...
Michael Symmons Roberts - 10 October 2007
Sorry for the faltering start. Apparently, just moments (well perhaps hours) after my first post as resident poet the site froze and has only today been unfrozen. I'm like to think this was just coincidence, but if it freezes again after this one I'll begin to take it personally. Ah well... What are you reading? I'm in the middle of the new(ish) biography of John Donne at the moment, and also reading some Auden and some Paul Muldoon.
My Auden reading is mainly preparation for teaching this time, but I'm always stunned by his work when I go back to it. Something about the apparent simplicity and the great complexity at the same time. And he takes all kinds of risks - telling readers what he thinks and believes (and sometimes what they should too), writing very tenderly about love, taking on big ideas in politics and theology. And all done with such formal brilliance. What do you make of him? He still provokes strong responses in readers for and against. And what are you reading? I was judging the Forward Prize this summer, and my fellow judge Sarah Crown (lit ed of Guardian unlimited) wrote about the great 'poetry binge' of reading for the judges. She said she loved reading so much poetry in such a concentrated way, but said she had a craving for a novel after a while. How do you read poems? Whole books or a poem at a time? Do you crave poetry after reading too much fiction?