Two Poems on Poetry

I love reading writers on writing — interviews with authors about how they work, where they work, why they write, and so on. The Guardian has a series on writers’ rooms that I love to pop into now and again; here’s Seamus Heaney’s.

This week I’m reading two very different poems about poetry and writing poetry. Charles Wright is the current United States Poet Laureate; his poem “Reunion” is short, and very personal. He ends the poem with,

I write poems to untie myself, to do penance and disappear
Through the upper right-hand corner of things, to say grace.

Archibald MacLeish’s “Ars Poetica” is a playful, self-contradictory riff on Horace’s famous work of the same name, a set of guidelines forย the crafting of poetry. In his rather famous and formulation,

A poem should not mean
But be.

What are your favorite poems about poetry?


Two notes from the poetry world:

Apparently a treasure-trove of lost Neruda poems has been found. (The Guardian)

Charles Simic’s tribute to his friend Mark Strand is wonderful, moving, human. (NYRB)

 

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