A Quarterly Progress Report

By , April 14, 2010

Some topics we cover in this blog should probably be updated occasionally. Among our projects and concerns, I’m sure there’s one that weighs particularly heavily on many readers’ minds: “how is Mark’s poem-a-day resolution progressing?”I’m sticking to my resolution well so far. Recently I had to read a poem or two from the Internet, which I consider cheating, being too easy, but it helped when traveling on short notice.

I seem to have entered a new phase of the project. Until recently, I preselected most of the poems. When I turned a new page in my Franklin planner, a piece more or less appropriate to the day, month, or season would already be listed. Now I’m becoming more spontaneous, and augmenting the homestead’s poetry shelf with books from the library.

It started when I found a collection Billy Collins edited, 180 More: Extraordinary Poems for Every Day (check your local bookstore) also a bit of a cheat in my weird, self-imposed rules, being, essentially, a poem-a-day project, but many of them were very good, and I really liked Collins’s introduction. I picked up a collection of his own work, along with one of the library’s many volumes of Gary Snyder poems, and John O’Donohue’s To Bless the Space Between Us: A Book of Blessings, which I didn’t initially think of as poetry, but definitely is.

So, until I return these books, they are my primary sources. Eclecticism is encouraged by expedience and practicality at the moment.

What I’m not getting is enough of one of my favorite poets, Mary Oliver. I seem to be trying not to read too much of her work too soon, to make her last through the year. Likely I’ll find myself in November or December cramming to make up for lost opportunities.

I hear the library’s holding a party next Saturday, during which anyone willing to read a poem (out loud, I assume) gets a piece of pie. Count me in! Considering all the excellent poetry I’ve been exposed to lately, though, I’d better get going on choosing which one to read!

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