there’s a universe swirling inside you. you have to learn to be your own earth, wind, fire and water. you are a natural phenomenon- not a natural disaster.Robinson
Why do you read poetry? Why did I read Robinson’s?
I knew a girl in college who loved poetry because it was ‘short and easy.’ And probably some poems are, but that’s not often how I read it. My Dad loves poetry that’s crisp and clear and tells a story. One of my professors loved that when it came to poetry there was ‘no wrong answer.’ That was the same class where I discovered one of my all time favorite poems: Crush by Cristina O’Keefe.
And now, two years after I’ve graduated college (geez I’m old) I’m still reading poetry. Yes, because they convey astounding amounts of emotion in just a few lines. Differently than plays. And of course, because we all want to read something and then interpret it in the context of our own lives. But mostly, because it’s beautiful.
Of course, there are a million types of poems. And I can appreciate many different styles. But these days, reading poetry is an exercise in indulgence for me.
Here I will make several sweeping generalizations about the poetry I read. The language itself tends to be more indulgent than novels. The subjects of the poems are often emotions. Not even people, just emotions. And they aren’t trying to solve a problem or tell a story. Just exist in the emotions, or try to sort them out, or react to how they’re feeling.
Which is why I liked Robinson and The Chaos of Longing so much. Lots of flowery, sweeping, emotional language. Here are some of my favorites.
- open season
- star eater
- until you
- nocturnal melody
- summer fling
- i am mine
- when you’re feeling low
- the galaxy is yours
Honestly, there are some beautiful ones. And while I really did not like milk and honey I really, really did like Robinson. So check out The Chaos of Longing. Even those who don’t like poetry, I challenge you to try something new. If not this collection, then another one.