Poems About the PastWritten by Catherine Rankovic
The poems are about the past!
Yes, indeed! From Captain Kangaroo to grape soda, to partying in the '80s, to way-back school days when they gave wiggly-block IQ tests, to the thirty-year-old spools in my sewing box (a what box!?!?!), to the Thresher submarine disaster in 1963 -- they're about the past! Yes, Galway Kinnell got away with writing a book titled The Past. It's been done.
Literary editors tend to be younger these days. We know for sure their screeners are very young. Remember how we used to glaze over when the old folks told us about Fibber McGee and Molly, etc.? How wonderful for us to remember the Sinclair dinosaur or the Gemini space program! And how incomprehensible and irrelevant to the young!
I've been writing poems that are like memoirs! A poem ain't a memoir!
I know "you write what you have to write," but I hope to consciously write more about the present and future. Thank you to Adrienne Rich, whom I now see kept her poetic focus on the present and future -- risky, in the way writing about the past is not.
Writer, with 30+ years' writing and publishing experience, 20+ years' teaching experience. Last book read: Mrs. Lincoln by Catherine Clinton.
Latest from Catherine Rankovic
Friday, 20 July 2012 20:20
posted by Mary Fierro
I want to write my first fiction novel but I'm really struggling. Any advice for me? Thanks.
Thursday, 28 June 2012 20:01
posted by Alice Azure
Your post about the use of "I" is somewhere--can't find it--but just wanted to say I can still hear my seventh grade teacher, Mrs. Johnson, exhorting us to refrain from over-use in our writing. I appreciated your reminder that "she" is not always preferable to the "I" of the poem.
Tuesday, 10 April 2012 18:49
I love how you salute Adrienne Rich here. But I also love your Captain Kangaroo poem, and even recently referenced it in some of my own blog writing. What is it they say? "If we don't learn from the past, we're doomed to repeat it."
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