‘Orphan Hours’ By Stanley Plumly (New Year’s Resolution, Book Thirty-Seven)

Once again folks, I’m tired, sick, and probably overworked. Stressed out, is what I’m saying, with a variety of physical, mental, and spiritual implications.

But I still made it to the poetry reading at the Folger Shakespeare Library last Monday. But I’m not going to write as much or as well, thoroughly or coherently as normal. Suck it up, readers (or, more realistically, ‘reader,’ because, let’s face, a irregularly updated blog about poetry doesn’t get many readers, so to my one reader, I just said, ‘suck it,’ so maybe now I have no readers at all).

Plumly read with C.K. Williams. Plumly is local and a former Maryland poet laureate, but I’d read a lot more about Williams (though I’d never read either’s poetry).

When I slipped over to a bookstore to check out their work and pre-buy a book to be signed, I expected to walk away with something by Williams, but found that Plumly is much more to my taste. On the page, to be honest, I wasn’t very interested in what I saw of Williams’ poetry. Plumly was more my type.

At the reading itself, Williams was enjoyable. He has a fast and enjoyable reading style. His work reads quickly on the page.

Plumly is a slower poet. He reads his poetry more slowly and his poems read more slowly on the page. I think that’s one of the reasons I preferred his work.

I will say this, Plumly is very good, very talented, but maybe not very distinguishing, by which I mean, his poems do not strongly distinguish themselves from other, similarly style poets. If you’re looking for a comparison, I’d say he most reminds me of the the late, great Adrienne Rich.

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