- the the poetry blog - http://www.thethepoetry.com -

In My Beginning…

Posted By Evan Hansen On March 21, 2010 @ 6:17 pm In Poetry and Poetics | 6 Comments

How does one choose which poem should be first in a manuscript? Ben Lerner’s new book, Mean Free Path, begins with something resembling a love poem. Joshua Beckman’s latest book, Take It, which I’ve been enjoying lately (click here to see the Believer’s review), uses a kind of apostrophe:

Dear Angry Mob,

Oak Wood Trail is closed to you. We
feel it unnecessary to defend our position,
for we have always thought of ourselves
(and rightly, I venture) as a haven for
those seeking a quiet and solitary
contemplation. We are truly sorry
for the inconvenience….

This is fairly witty–simply to put a short little charmer of a poem out front to ease the reader in–but it also overdetermines my reading of the first few pieces that follow. Then again, where else could such a poem go but at the beginning? I’m at a loss.

Today’s question: How should books begin?


Article printed from the the poetry blog: http://www.thethepoetry.com

URL to article: http://www.thethepoetry.com/2010/03/in-my-beginning/

Copyright © 2011 the the poetry blog. All rights reserved.