I love to hear poetry read aloud. I’ve never been to a reading, but enjoy those I do hear once in a while on the radio. It really helps me to understand and get a better sense for the poem.

I remember once at a translation conference in college hearing a translator read one of Ernesto Cardenal’s poems that I’d read often in Spanish, yet hearing it for the first time in English was very powerful and changed totally my experience with the poem and the poet. Not to mention the huge crush I developed on the translator as a result. ;-0

I really enjoyed your links in this post and especially the Gioia essay. I hadn’t read any criticism of Kooser before and found his point about the simple poems being the most difficult to craft interesting.

I think you’re right that I’m easily intimidated by poetry, but don’t know that I know enough about how to talk about it to be able to classify for you the type of poems that I find difficult. Sometimes I feel like all I understand are images, without being able to infer the whole meaning; does that make any sense?

I haven’t read or studied much in English; maybe that is part of the issue for me. Among Spanish prose I prefer those who write simply; Galdos and Baroja, for example, and Neruda. Machado and Lorca seem overly difficult – but why? I’m not sure.

Sorry to go on so.