I Hate Poetry, But I Like Podcasts

As one who listens to a plethora of podcasts weekly, I was more than willing to add the Poetry Unbound podcast to my list.

Regardless of whether or not you’re an English scholar, I feel as though there are two common approaches to poetry. On one hand, there is the romanticist who wants to find beauty in each word, line, and use of punctuation. On the other hand, there is the realist who struggles to see beyond the surface of a poem – ignoring (or possibly blind to) the depth of meaning potentially contained.

I would love to present myself as the former – a poetry aficionado who knows meaning at first glance. However, I am not fortunate enough to be naturally drawn to the complexities of poems and therefore have developed an inherent dislike.

All that to say, I actually enjoy listening to the Poetry Unbound podcast. Whether it’s the narrator’s soothing voice, or perhaps the way he dissects the artists’ works so that individuals like me might better comprehend them… it only took a few episodes to be hooked.

On my walk to school yesterday, I listened to the episode on Tiana Clark’s poem “My Therapist Wants to Know About My Relationship to Work.” Her portrayal of the tedious relationship between work and art is not only relatable but inspires reflection. In Clark’s case, and the case of many others, the words ‘work’ and ‘art’ are synonymous. This in turn creates a dilemma in which discovering and maintaining balance between the two is complicated. As a result, the things we love often become a burden – what the narrator of Poetry Unbound considers a “burden of connection.”

This undesired connection between work and art is something I believe I am familiar with. The need to create a divide between my academic life and my passions/hobbies has become a common task. I am not yet sure what the remedy for this clash might entail, but it is definitely something I am searching for. Perhaps the answer lies in another episode of Poetry Unbound.

One Response to I Hate Poetry, But I Like Podcasts

  1. Prof VZ January 29, 2023 at 6:46 pm #

    I love your recognition of how this poem explores what happens when when what we love turns into a chore or a job, when the spiritual, to borrow language from earlier in the semester turns carnal. For Clark, this occurs when the deeper drive for the poetic turns into something like the po-biz–just any arena for professional growth and competition. The poem also provides a roadmap for what it is like to return to something more basic and elemental in the art of self-care infused by art and memory.

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