I wouldn’t normally been found reading the Financial Times (it has the highest reading age, in vocabulary terms, of any British newspaper), however my Father in-law was visiting this weekend, and it is his paper of choice. I thought I would have a flick through the magazine and found a poetry mention, by regular weekend columnist Mrs Moneypenny.
As well as quoting the John Updike poem Midpoint, Mrs Moneypenny asserts that as time is money (and her time is calculated at £3,000 an hour) she never reads fiction or poetry unless she is on holiday. I however found this puzzling as I have always thought that poetry was the perfect form of literature for those short on time.
On an average commute into work on public transport it would be possible to read, or listen to, and average length poem several times. Most poems need two or three readings for the reader to get under their skin. The rest of the time can be used in mulling, musing or perhaps pondering what the poem says. Most good poems manage to capture more depth, have more resonance and speak more to the human condition than your average novel. Given the fact you could read one a day, on your commute or lunch hour that is a startling five brushes with quality literature a week. What’s not to like for the time poor?
Also this week I have recorded an awful lot of poems with Alastair Cook. I now excitedly wait for the results later in the year.