I stumbled upon David Orr’s work through his piece “Why Is a Poet’s First Collection So Important?” published in the New York Times at the beginning of February. The Facebook preview of the piece featured pictures of poets Donika Kelly and Max Ritvo below that earnest headline.
Over the years, I’ve distilled people’s reactions down to a core set of misconceptions about poetry. Some of the most pervasive: Poetry is overly difficult. It’s obtuse on purpose. It’s like a riddle. You need to read between the lines. It can mean anything you want it to.