Tintern Abbey
Tintern Abbey

In hard times, it is good to turn to Wordsworth, the most boring and most satisfying of the Romantic poets.

Is the monastic life the way past late capitalism?

Reading poetry naturally leads to introspection. I didn’t really need a brain scan to know that, but it’s nice to be shown right. After all, reading poetry is a slower, more thoughtful process. Maybe that’s the difference. A collection of poetry is rarely very long. Most of the contemporary collections I have are under one hundred and fifty pages, but you can’t breeze through them like a Mickey Spillane novel. You have to move at the speed of the poet’s pen (some poets compose faster than others, it is certain). But what happens when you read poetry is ineffably different than when you read prose. And no, being able to brain scan it doesn’t make it effable. Did you see what I did there? Effable. That makes for a kind of sex joke, too. Doing double duty.

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