I wrote this very quickly the other day after reading a few very good poems and many poems that flustered me (maybe I just didn't get them?) in a packet of poems sent to me by the editor of a student literary magazine. I am honored they thought of me to be a poetry judge. It means that I have perhaps done enough in my community to merit this (what seems to me) recognition.
I realized quite a few things while I was reading, most of which could be summarized in this faux haiku:
let me get out the gavel....i've learned the reasoneditors delegate.
I hope that the faux haiku at least evokes a few giggles. I also hope to remember to utilize what I've learned here, not to judge others' work, but to consider graceful ways in which to frame how a writer may create more effective poetry and why some of the commonalities in each of those poems should be avoided.
I consider the term "poetry judge," strange and unsettling, quite possibly because I consider poetry an art I am still and will always be learning. I am a student and I hardly consider myself an expert. I also think that poetry is for everyone.
I found myself wanting to write all over the poetry pages with yearnings, suggestions and questions for the writers. While I read, I had a general feeling of reaching out so that each writer could eek out of the abstractions, used as crutches, what they really meant. I yearned so much for the stories that were hiding behind those tall, tall abstractions....
I suppose that means that I should definitely pursue, amongst other things, my MFA. My heart seems to be in it, even if it takes ten years before I am able to formally coach this craft.