Poetry With Oprah

The idea for this entry came from the NYTimes, but I’m not linking to the story so folks won’t get charged. If you want to read it, check “O! Poetry” in the Book Review from March 25. For those who don’t, it basically mocked the Oprah enterprise for putting rising young female poets in expensive outfits. The story implied that the least expensive piece was $270. I don’t think a $90 leather jacket is all that overpriced. I would actually buy the Benetton sweater.

As for the poets in poses, I celebrate anyone who puts more verse in front of people, whatever the format, whatever the excuse. And the actual verses deserve as much attention as they can get. My favorite is Oprah’s selection “Phenomenal Woman,” who is equally the author Maya Angelou, and my mother, Ann Petry, and Oprah, and me. And I love that there’s a link to a Robert Frost poem and from there to David Whyte to David Morton and so on.

The biggest surprise? Matt Dillon’s choice of W.B. Yeats’ “The Stolen Child”: “We seek for slumbering trout/And whispering in their ears/Give them unquiet dreams,/From ferns that drop their tears/Over the young streams.”

So, happy poetry, month. I like what Oprah has done.


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