I began a poetry class today with no wish to write poetry. Instead, I long to listen to poetry recitations. And read more than a few poems. And hope keeping company with poets will infect my prose in a good way.
While there, I learned my passionate-for-poetry professor desires that poetry once again be written in everyday language so that it will, once again, connect with everyday people. “Some call marijuana a gateway drug,” he said, “So I call Billy Collins a gateway poet.” All I can think of, sitting in my chair, is that his words smack of addiction rather than the mild infection I signed up for.
Yet my professor’s use of that word everyday — not once but twice — made me wonder if Billy Collins is not a pot-like poet at all, but more like a meat and potatoes poet. And if so, Billy and I will get alone just fine.