Friday, April 30, 2010
I have a friend who, in lieu of sending Christmas cards, burns mix CDs of new music that he’s discovered throughout the year, and mails them to all of his friends.
Although not particularly adept at the art of the mix CD myself, I’m a strong believer in the mix CD. I think it’s a great way to cheer up a friend, celebrate occasions large or small, or convey a sense of your personality to a potential romantic interest. (I even have a friend who teaches high school and told one of her students that he could earn extra credit by making her a really good mix CD.) But even more importantly, the mix CD gives you the chance to share new music with someone who would otherwise not have been aware of that artist. I’ve discovered many a “favorite” singer or band through friends who have passed along mix CDs.
I mention all this because a few days ago, I found myself wishing for a poetry-equivalent of the mix CD. I often find poems that I want to share with friends, and I usually just end up typing out the poem in an email or sending a text message with a few lines. (For “Poem in Your Pocket Day,” I texted a haiku to about two dozen friends, mostly non-poets.) But I’m wondering if anyone has a better suggestion for sharing new poetry discoveries. Short of buying a book to give to someone, how do you share a new poet or a specific poem or two with friends? In the spirit of National Poetry Month and turning more people on to the poetic craft, how do you spread the appreciation of poetry? Do we have a poetry equivalent of the mix CD?
The poet doesn't invent. He listens. ~Jean Cocteau