My poetry shelves are out of control. Recently I pulled out a few volumes and donated them. And I considered avoiding any of the four libraries available to me. Why, I ask you, do I borrow books when I already have too many within my reach? Yeah, yeah, I’ve read them all, but if I’m housing them, they are, I think, worth reading again. So, paying more attention to the books that have occupied valuable space in my house, I surprised myself with a poetry book from the library only to realized that I own it. I tucked that library book into a tote bag and read the notes I had made in my copy. And I decided not to buy or borrow any more poetry books until I have again read the hundred or so that I own.
And I’ll be darned–some of the ones I’ve been housing no longer interest me. In rereading two books so far, I have not reacted well to poems that lack the first person singular. They often narrate long stories with which I have little patience. So, not only am I making space and making use of what’s easily available, but if I can maintain my sanity, I will weed out the overgrowth, and in the future have a better understanding of what I want from poetry.