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June 10, 2011


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Someone obviously has been into the Pez candy. Is a sugar high The Muse?

Poetry should be about liberation and transgression, the sufficient distancing from the herd that one bothers and gets mad, so they are too away to throw stones and hit the poet.

This poem substitutes humor for seriousness, allusion and figure for political engagement, and base pleasures for the fist shaken from atop the barricades.

This is a cento, Fontag. It is a soft brush of lips against the cheek of something beloved - in this case, there were a number of beloved(s) - Billy Collins' 'Litany' along with a number of lines from some very accomplished authors who have stood the test of time and audience.

What you say poetry 'should be about' may be what poetry 'should be about' to you. From what I read, poetry 'should be about' what any variety of people want it to be about. If your test of poetry were to be put to all the poems in the world, how many would have to be tossed away . . .

By the way, I'm no poet. Never claimed to be. But I do, now, claim to be a cento-writer. A maker of patchwork coats. My sign is up, on my front door. It says 'Resta Writes Centos'.

I can savage the world another time. There's always another day. :)

(By the way, I wish you'd left a link to your site rather than just a name without something to connect to that would show your work . . . the tone of your comment, combined with the almost-Freudian blend of Sontag with a big 'F' put in place of the 'S', does lead one to wonder if it is indeed your real name . . . or one more poetically (sic) invented.) ;)

"Poetry should be about liberation and transgression, the sufficient distancing from the herd that one bothers and gets mad, so they are too away to throw stones and hit the poet"
I have no idea what that sentence means. Poetry should, first, give pleasure. And some of the most serious poems I know are quite humorous.

Fontag's comment both shows he or she has a tin ear, and also suggests a greenish hue to his or her reading face -- the two often are a natural fit. Karen Resta is right about "Fontag," too, I bet. The name does sound fake. Not the fake of a nom de plume. The fake of a nom de pout. -- Three cheers for those who do write, who do have the guts to put it out there for all of us to read and react to. And three more cheers for when we enjoy, howsoever we do enjoy. That makes six cheers for Karen Resta, by my count.

Ah, fun in the Bartlett's stew
With a cook and a poet too.

Thanks, Stacey, Avent, and Bob. I appreciate the goodwill sent by your comments . . . because even though Fontag's comment was, at points, not clearly readable since words seemed to have been dropped here and there, the intent to wound was clear - and that *did* send me flying sideways momentarily, not feeling so good.

I appreciate your kindnesses.

Fontag seems to forget that humor is serious and that allusions, honoring the words of others and, yes, pleasure, are in their own way "the fist shaken from atop the barricades."

. . . yes, Liz. :) <3

. . . and by the way, thanks to y'all who are giving the post 'facebook likes'. I don't know who you are, but I really appreciate it. :)

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I left it
on when I
left the house
for the pleasure
of coming back
ten hours later
to the greatness
of Teddy Wilson
"After You've Gone"
on the piano
in the corner
of the bedroom
as I enter
in the dark

from New and Selected Poems by David Lehman

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Ringfinger was nervous
Pinky terrified
when they learned
that Hand might succumb
to the rule of Thumb.



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