Wednesday, October 03, 2007

Quick note

Poet Troy Jollimore, author of Tom Thomson in Purgatory, is this week's guest blogger over at the Powell's Bookstore blog.

Here's an excerpt from his first post, which compares being a poet with being a philosopher (which he also is):

Typically, answering the question "What do you do?" with either "I'm a philosopher" or "I'm a poet" will get you a pretty similar look. A look which, if it could be rendered in English, would go something like this: "How peculiar — I mean interesting — I just remembered something quite important I have to do somewhere rather far away from here — please don't ask me who my favorite philosopher/poet is or anything like that — nice meeting you, I'm going to back away slowly now, smiling awkwardly the whole time."

Should be worth keeping an eye on this week to see what else he's got to say.


Lyle Daggett said...

In an interview once, in the later years of his life, W.H. Auden said that when people he'd just met -- strangers, fellow passengers on a train, etc. -- asked him what kind of work he did, he usually just would say "medieval historian" or something similar. People might suddenly look bored but they wouldn't give him that "How peculiar..." look.

This also makes me think of a brief story I found sometime back in Joy Harjo's weblog. I just broke up laughing when I read it. It's here.

Anne said...

Lyle: Hah! Good stories, both. Yeah, I've been known to say "librarian" and very rarely "writer" but hardly ever "poet" ... the minute you say you're a poet people expect you to run off and stick your head in an oven, or something. Or they demand your email address and send you bad poems, expecting praise...