April 22, 2014

A Poem a Day

If there's one thing I would recommend to everyone, it's to never give advice.

I used to give advice. Back when I was young and stupid and knew everything. But after watching several disasters flower from people taking my counsel, usually interpreting it in ways I never would have imagined, I swore it off. I could tell you stories, but there are several people who would have to die first, and that's not practical.

The thing is, you never have to explain something you didn't say.

But I'm going to break that vow right now and advise something. Read one poem every day.

It doesn't have to be some serious, stuffy poem. It can be light and fun, like Ogden Nash, or zany and divergent, like Barbara Hamby, or wry and witty like Billy Collins. Or reflective or romantic or whatever suits you. But I do recommend mixing it up.

This is especially good advice for writers, but is also good for anyone who likes to get a fresh perspective every once in a while.

Here's the nice thing. APM and Garrison Keillor have made it easy.

Writer's Almanac

You can go to the website and either read or listen to the five-minute show, which starts with events of note on this day in history and concludes with a poem. Or if you prefer, you can listen to it on a radio station in your area.

If I don't catch it on the air, then I click Listen while I'm eating my Cheerios every day.


Mark Spyrison said...

Great advice. And you don't have to worry. I already listen to Garrison Keillor. So if anything goes awry, you can't be blamed. Incidentally, I remember you always being reluctant to offer advice, and that was over 30 years ago. So I don't know what you're talking about, sailor.

Brad Whittington said...

I would elaborate, but . . .

You never have to explain something you didn't say.