We interrupt this birth story to bring you National Poetry Month. YAY! While I'm sure that I couldn't convince most of you to carry a poem in your pocket this month to read when and wherever the mood strikes, I will instead encourage you to learn a little about the craft of poetry. Wash from your mind the brain-numbing bullshit you learned in high school. Build a new understanding of what is considered by many to be a dying art.
For a lot of people, poetry is sort of this black hole into which all sorts of writing is dumped. I concur that this is quite the case in our current culture. However, there is a very real background to poetry and its creation. For some, it's a natural gift. For others, it's a learned skill. I liken it to those who can play the piano by ear and those who have to take lessons - both make music, some instinctively and some out of practice. I don't want to bore you with the didactic snobbery of it all, for that is the shit that makes most people give up on poetry before they ever even have the chance to discover the intricacies with which it is created. And that's a damn shame.
Poetry is continually evolving. There are always new forms in development. There are new rules created by poets. There are awesome combinations of poetry + insert-just-about-anything. And on that note, I'll take a moment to set you up with some links to some cool shit going on with poetry.
Hip-Hop and Poetry - Jason and the Beast
This cat is a Lou local. You've never heard Shakespeare like this. And his own lyrics kick ass, too. I know you bitches will be dancing in your cubicles. Web shout to JASON!
Poetry Chicks Will Dig - Kim Addonizio
You'll want to be her best friend/wine drinking bitch.
Poems for Every Occasion
If you're bored at work, check this out.
Poetic Forms and Techniques
This list is SHORT and leaves off some good stuff. But, hey - it's a fairly snot-like literary site. What would one expect???
Knowledge is power. Learn by reading.
I could go on and on, but I'll stop here. If you've got any poetry questions/thoughts/frustrations about the whole art form, post them in the comments. I'd love to get a discussion going...
NIKE HALF-MARATHON UPDATE: Unfortunately, The Dirty Thirties were not pulled in the lottery to run in San Fran this fall. BOO HISS. So my bitches and I are on the hunt for a different one to run...