Sunday, September 4, 2011
Beautiful & Pointless (A Guide to Modern Poetry) by David Orr
In this book, Orr demystifies contemporary poetry for general readers. Rather than talking about poetry "as if it were a device to be assembled or a religious experience to be undergone" it is helpful to think of it as a foreign destination that "both welcomes and confounds" a traveller. I was tickled that Orr used Belgium as a hypothetical example, since I've just returned from a trip there. Orr writes that you would not "decide in advance that you'd never understand Belgians because you couldn't immediately determine why their most famous public statue is a depiction of a naked kid peeing in a fountain. You'd probably figure, hey, that's what they like in Belgium; if I stick around long enough, maybe it'll all make sense."
Forego other activities and treat yourself to Orr's delightful little book. (And then read some poetry!)