Friday, February 13, 2009


You know those things on standardized tests where they ask you to read a few paragraphs and then pick the best title?

My mom always did really bad on those, because she would pick whichever title she thought was the most interesting, instead of whichever title best summarized the reading, which is what you're "supposed" to do.

So I am thinking about that a bit with regard to book titles. With poetry, especially, the title wouldn't be simply a thing to sound interesting and make you pick it up, but could go a long way towards suggesting to the reader what the collection will be "about."

Does a collection have to be "about" anything?

Does a poem have to be about anything? Why do we use that preposition? "About" seems surrounding, not directly touching, nebulous. It feels like it ought to be on, or within, or something.

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