How to Read Poems Properly

Jan Carson Writes

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Most of my friends are poets. I’ll rephrase this because it sounds terribly pretentious. If you did a kind of job census on the people who I spend most of my time with I’m pretty sure I’d end up with more poetry writing associates than teachers, lawyers, doctors etc. Another way of saying ‘most of my friends are poets’ is, ‘most of my friends are permanently broke.’

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I spend a lot of time at poetry readings. I spend a lot of time on the edge of discussions about Louis MacNeice, and various types of sonnets, and whether this poet or that poet deserves to win a prize for their poems about fish/history/B list celebrities, and if it’s acceptable to write poems sideways so they stretch across two whole pages and you have to turn the book sideways to read them; also how to maintain the fine balance between black clothing…

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