From As Is by James Galvin. Copyright © 2009 by James Galvin. Used by permission of Copper Canyon Press. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
I read this poem in my inbox courtesy of Poetry.org and it just hit me in the head. I just love it. It is from the book by poet rancher James Galvin, As Is (also love, love, love the title!) from Copper Canyon Press
Says Galvin to Rachel Lander in an interview in the Daily Iowan (when Galvin is not on his ranch he is teaching in the Iowa Writers Program) about As Is
“In a way I think the major anxiety that drives that particular book is the anxiety of trying to live fully and productively and gracefully during a catastrophe,” Galvin said.
About poetry and teaching poetry, Galvin says in the same article:
“I think that a lot of times the way poetry is taught in school is as if it were not art but philosophy in a can, and the teacher has the can opener — and that’s no fun for anyone,” he said. “The ideas in it are pleasure, and the sensations in it, the images and the sounds and the textures, are all there for pleasure. It’s not that it can’t be analyzed like painting or music, but one’s first experience of it should be some kind of conversation between the body and the mind that feels good.”