This year, I finally came to grips with something pretty fundamental about my reading interests – I don’t really care about prose. I care about ideas, and characters, and plots. I care about history, personal development, and inspiration. But I do not care about a formal experimentation. I don’t care about clever re-workings of language. I don’t, really, care about style.
This is, I think, is why, though I absolutely loved the Argonauts, Shiner, Maggie Nelson’s first book of poetry left me cold.
Poetry is often about formal experimentation, careful parsing of language, tone and meter. These things don’t really interest me. Sure I like a well turned phrase, but I don’t find them necessary to my enjoyment. Got a self-published memoir on a running cult? Full of typos and run-on sentences. I’m down. Got a carefully crafted book of poetry writing by an incredibly talented writer? I’ll pass.
This isn’t to say that I don’t care about good writing, I do. But if all something is is well written, I’ll probably get bored. This is who I am, and this is what I like, but you mileage may vary. If words, for their own sake, is you jam, this might go over much better than it did with me.
Recommended for the enthusiast.