Thursday, April 30, 2009

"Maybe Dat's Your Pwoblem Too" by James W. Hall

To end National Poetry Month on a tragicomic note (since April is indeed the cruelest month), what better poem is there to read than James W. Hall's "Maybe Dat's Your Pwoblem Too"?

Since this blog links to Mr. Hall's excellent discussion of his own poem, I'm not even going to try and discuss/ analyze it. Despite his unassuming disclaimer at the beginning of the analysis, his discussion of how he came to write the poem provides some fascinating insight into the writing process and how he takes an idea and translates it into a poem. I particularly like this paragraph:
Of course "buining" one's suit is the punchline of the poem. It's a hard thing to do--recreate yourself, reinvent yourself. Become someone different, someone new. Throw away one identity (and mask) and put on another. We all struggle with that in some way or another. We want to change, to grow, to abandon one set of personality features for better ones. That's why people go to school, to church, to the shrink, and it's one of the reasons why we write. To reinvent ourselves.