Saturday, October 27, 2007

Murray Bodo

Sometimes, writing seems awfully silly. Reading, too, for that matter. I have been much preoccupied with all the mundane details of material life, from basement refinishing, to buying and selling automobiles, to financial planning, etc., etc. But I did get to see Murray Bodo last weekend. And he reminded me (us) of the power of poetry. He was quite vigorous, even with a cold. I had seen a picture of him on the 'net which made me think that perhaps he was getting on in years, and his visit here would be mainly honorific. But he is an exceptional teacher. He gave two longish talk/readings on Saturday, had two sessions with students Monday, followed by a dinner and readings Monday night.

And he is an excellent reader, at least of his own poetry. He read his pretty much as I would have read them. Which makes me worry less about how my poems would sound. Perhaps I fret too much over punctuation and graphics. Maybe we're all used to a modernist free-verse style, so mine would come out all right. Anyway, he encouraged us to write--not to have a literary career necessarily--but to write.