Wednesday, December 03, 2003

To be the poet

While at City Lights, the SO showed me the book To be the poet by Maxine Hong Kingston. Since her book Woman Warrior is just plain required reading for Asian American studies, I perused through some of the pages. The book suggested that poetry is something that is easy to do and more preferable than writing novels, plots and storylines.

I would have to agree that poems can be easily made. However, good poems that make you stop an hour after reading it, great poems that shake your soul, and poems that change your life demand as much from the poet as great novels demand from writers.

I wish writing poetry can be easy. But each poem demands a level of sacrifice from me. It's almost as if they are sucking some part of my life in them. I don't necessarily mind since it is fun to see Aquino and Marcos verbally jousting with each other. Or seeing Kennedy and Nixon become more Pinoy as each day passes. And who can resist Bonifacio and Rizal chasing a turkey?

We did not end up buying the book by Maxine Hong Kingston. A passage about poets not caring for money kinda turned me off on the whole idea of the book. As the SO says, poets care about money. They just don't get paid much.

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