The other day I asked the students in one of my classes to name their favorite living poets. Sadly (but expectedly), they met my request with the same kind of terrified, blank stares I get when I announce a pop quiz. Eventually, most of them grudgingly acknowledged that they didn't know the name of a single living poet (and these were English majors). Even those who managed to come up with the name of a poet or two had to strain to pull them from their memories. ("Oh . . . oh . . . that one guy!) All of this reminded me why I started this blog.
I believe writers matter. I believe ideas matter. I believe art matters. And if this blog exposes even a few people to contemporary literature who wouldn't otherwise see it, I'll be perfectly content.
So to all my readers who struggle to name living poets, today I offer you this -- a beautifully read poem titled "Some Days" by Billy Collins.
Incidentally, Billy Collins served as the Poet Laureate of the United States from 2001 to 2003. Collins doesn't try, as I suspect some poets do, to be intentionally abstract and weird. Instead, he's a populist, writing poetry for the common man and woman.
As always, your thoughts on poetry, Billy Collins, or the above poem are welcome in the comments.