Friday, July 27, 2007

It's Never Too Late To Begin Writing Poetry
Or Appear on a Most-Beautiful-People List

This charming little piece in the excellent Poets & Writers magazine recounts the story of a woman who began writing poetry at the age of 60. "I started writing poems without knowing it," she says. "Everybody in my life had died, and I was pretty much dead. I found myself scribbling things, and I looked at them and couldn’t help but notice they looked like poems." Who says "mere" words can't change one's life, or even bring you back from the dead?

Meanwhile, this fascinating narrative list of the 50 most beautiful people on Capitol Hill contains a few surprises. While there's the usual assortment of glam 20-something male and female Hill staffers, new Ohio Senator and Pulitzer spouse Sherrod Brown also makes the list. "Ohio’s Democratic senator may not be as sharply dressed as his home-state colleague, House GOP leader John Boehner, or as smoothly polished as another Midwestern freshman, Barack Obama of Illinois. But Sherrod Brown’s combination of rumpled cool and passionate progressivism makes him the unsung beauty of the upper chamber," writes The Hill. And 67-year-old grandma Nancy Pelosi is listed at #4, apparently proving once more, as Henry Kissinger famously observed, that power is the ultimate aphrodisiac.


At 9:12 PM, Blogger Art Durkee said...

I wish I could call Poets & Writers excellent, but in good conscience, I can't. They praise too much bad poetry to be taken seriously. They also complain about how the MFA writing programs are harming poetry, yet who advertises in the back of each issue? Hard to take that all that seriously.

Nevertheless your point about it never being too late to start writing poetry is a good one. Still, I's still say to a 60-year-old beginning poet the same thing I'd say to a 16-year-old: read, read, read, then read some more. No better way to learn about poetry than to read lots of it.


At 12:56 PM, Blogger John Ettorre said...

We can easily agree to disagree about P&W, Art. I actually think it's a sign of a particularly reliable pub that it takes editorial positions at odds with its advertising base. That's a brave and altogether positive position. As for your second point, about how poets--like all writers--really learn by reading lots, we're in total agreement there.

At 8:30 PM, Anonymous baggeroh said...

Better example is Lakewood Poet Laureate, Jack McGuane. I think he told me he started writing poetry at 71.

At 9:48 AM, Blogger John Ettorre said...

Good one. You're right about him.


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