Should writing poems be an Olympic event? — K. Stevenson

I’m glad you asked that. I’ve been thinking of something similar for a long time. I don’t think that poetry should be an Olympic event per se, because writing poetry involves our mental resources more than our physical ones, but some competitive event, definitely, should be established for writers of poetry. I’ve been thinking about a competitive poetry reality series similar to what singers have in American Idol, what dancers have in So You Think You Can Dance, what fashion designers have in Project Runway, and what contortionists, comedians, musicians, and other miscellaneous artists have in America’s Got Talent. Even spoken word poets have slam competitions, but what competitive event do shy, awkward poets with speech impediments have? Nothing! Nothing, at least, that can infiltrate the mainstream as these other competitions do, and I think we should change that. Poet… More…


It’s my birthday. Will you write me a poem? — Ken S., Portland, Oregon

It’s my birthday, too!  Let’s celebrate together with a heroic couplet:

This is for people whose name starts with K: you’re getting old — you better seize the day!

Yuck, that was awful. Here’s a better one by Richard Wilbur, addressed to someone with initials very close to yours

For K.R. on her Sixtieth Birthday

Blow out the candles of your cake. They will not leave you in the dark, Who round with grace this dusky arc Of the grand tour which souls must take.

You who have sounded William Blake, And the still pool, to Plato’s mark, Blow out the candles of your cake. They will not leave you in the dark.

Yet, for your friends’ benighted sake, Detain your upward-flying spark; Get… More…