What does it take to appreciate poetry? An English professor who inspires? Experiences in angst, joy, love, sorrow? According to Oprah, a sense of fashion helps.
In his New York Times essay, O! Poetry David Orr takes on the diva with an irreverent reaction to the feature article, “Spring Fashion Modeled by Rising Young Poets” in the April issue of O: the Oprah Magazine.
Orr, who writes poetry and has a new poetry appreciation book just out, sounds a little snobby when he criticizes O’s picks for critiques on rhyme – Ashton Kutcher, Bono, Maria Shriver. Everyone knows that you don’t have to know what you’re talking about to be an expert.
Orr reminds us that…
“any critic knows there are dozens of poetry collections…less culturally valuable than Winfrey’s many enterprises and that could only be improved by pencil skirts, preferably by being wrapped in several of them and chucked in the East River.”
Although you may not always agree with her literary tastes, Oprah used her influence to create readers with her book picks. Now, more will read poetry – and have a reason to shop.
What does one wear while reading Shakespeare or Yeats? Not to worry; they did not make Oprah’s list of poets to read.