A couple days ago, I heard another inspiring interview on NPR. This time, it was Álvaro Enrigue talking about his book Sudden Death, recently translated into English. The title of the interview was “When Caravaggio Plays Quevedo In Tennis, The Court Becomes A Sonnet.”
He was talking about how the novel jumps around in time–a lot–and how the game of tennis provides a structure for the novel:
“You have the tennis court that is like a sonnet. It’s a little space, well-measured and precise, in which you have to keep the ball bouncing.”
This is the part that really jumped out at me:
“I think that the novels I love are novels that teach you how to read them.”
That teach you how to read them…
This ties in with the previous thoughts on voice. I realized that some of the poems I love had to teach me how to read them. Sometimes, I’m not there yet, not able to learn, but I can try again later.
I also realized that some of my favorite poems of my own are that way for me–they had to teach me how to write them. Then the poem is done, and it isn’t reproducible. The next poem is an opportunity to learn a new way to write, to read, to listen.