Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Eight: Poetry is Not A Great Water Cooler Conversation

At my job I do Open house presentations where I inform an audience of parents and kids about our classes: public speaking, writing and reading, and math. I do the writing and reading portion of the Open house and I usually introduce myself in this way:

"Hi my name is Darrell Dela Cruz and I graduated with my MFA in Creative in Poetry.  Who here loves Poetry." No one raises their hands.  "It's okay, I love poetry, and your kids will love reading as well."

Reading -- that's how I tell parents on the importance of poetry for kids -- it'll enhance their reading skills.

So I have this coworker who is a teacher at where I work.  He's a well beloved teacher by students, and has a great love of fiction -- making us incompatible when talking.

"Oh what do you think of Cormac Mccarthy"

"I don't read fiction that much, what do you think of Tracy K. Smith"

"Who"

Our conversations go like this.  Outside of academia, I've found it hard to talk to anyone about poetry which was another reason why I wrote my blog -- I'm trying to find people to talk Poetry about -- not their own poetry.  I find that 90% of poets talk about their own poems and 10% talk about poetry of others.

I don't mind.  I do mind actually.  A minor irritation.  Sometimes major.

But my coworker, who also has an MFA, seems to be resentful about his loneliness about fiction.  He asked one of the admin staff what types of books she reads, and she said self-help books.  From what I heard, he chastised her for not having read more, but he was oblivious for chastising her.

It's that whole "no one understands me" moment that happens.  I'm not saying I'm smart but I think this is one of my major cognitive distortions in regards to Poetry  -- unable to find people to talk poetry to regardless of how many MFAs are out there.

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