Thirty of the Best
In the US, National Poetry Month is drawing to a close. Does its timing have anything to do the famous first line of TS Eliot’s ‘The Wasteland’? Not according to Wikipedia, but we have our suspicions.
The New York Review of Books has been celebrating the occasion with a selection of 30 of the best poems ever to have been published in its pages - a poem for every April day, published daily. Today’s - ‘Cat in an Empty Apartment’ - is by Nobel laureate, Polish poet WisÅ‚awa Szymborska. Included are two poems by Les Murray - ‘Mercurial September’ (“Dams glitter like house roofs again”) and ‘Max Fabre’s Yachts’.
Undoubtedly the Australian poet with the highest international profile, Murray has recently garnered critical praise for Killing the Black Dog, his memoir of living with depression. Conventionally, literature - especially poetry, and especially ‘The Wasteland’ - is considered a catalyst for depression. But we were happy to see this New Yorker piece suggesting that, contrary to popular opinion, bookish teens are probably less prone to depression than teens who don’t read.