The Swallow Anthology


I’m packing for a short trip to California (actually I should say a long trip but a short stay), so I’m taking some reading material for the flights and breaking one of my own rules in the process. Usually I don’t start a new book when I’m still reading one or two others (I’m a slow reader), but I’m making an exception this time. I’ve decided to take The Swallow Anthology of New American Poets that I picked up at West Chester a couple of weeks ago. Speaking of which, I blogged about the ratio of men to women and have since been educated…somewhat. It is the norm, around a two-to-one ratio, but I still wonder why so many more men than women write poetry. I find myself wondering what the ratio is in other artistic fields–songwriting, painting, or for that matter dance! Well anyway that’s neither here nor there.

Suffice it to say I am looking forward to reading these “unified sensibilities”, although I note that these poets are described as those “who have read, and who expect their readers also to have read.” Nothing wrong with expecting that, and many (possibly even most) people who read poetry are well read, but many are just ordinary people like me with an average education. Though I’m working to correct my own deficiencies, the work is very slow, and it doesn’t help that I have a slow processor and a full memory. As my father used to say, “When they were handing out brains you thought they said trains so you got a caboose!” :) I wonder sometimes what it must be like to have higher-than-average intelligence and the blessing of an extended education. The former is a gift, the latter a privilege.

I go to the West Chester conference most years and mix and mingle with the who’s who of the poetry world. It feels much like being back stage at a rock concert. So much energy and “oooooh, look, so and so!” That I’m soon to be published in Rattle next to some of them still floors me. I’m still a child in many ways and may be looked down on because of that. That’s okay, because there are always those who find children refreshing! :)


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