Kay Ryan and Her Amazing Flying Chickens

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I had a rough start to the week. I had too much caffeine and not enough sleep, and pretty soon those chickens come home to roost. So it’s taken until Wednesday to get to this post. Thanks for waiting. I know you’ve been on the edge of your keyboard.

The Monkey likes a good twist on an old phrase as much as I do, so to keep things thematic, he has a Kay Ryan poem today too, “All Your Horses.” You could say it’s sort of a barnyard theme we’ve got going.

Former Poet Laureate Kay Ryan is our featured poet of the week for National Poetry Month. We had a hard time limiting it to just four poets, but we talk about poets all the time, and even if we did a poet a day, someone would still be disappointed that we didn’t include their favorite.  So, yes, just one poet of the week. If you’ve never heard either of us read your favorite, you could make a request. I think we’d enjoy that. Just nothing like this, okay?

Kay Ryan talked about this poem with Andrea Seabrook on NPR right after she became Poet Laureate in 2008, so you can learn a little background about the poem and hear her own reading of it by listening in.  Her version catches the rhyme better than mine does, but it was an interesting exercise for me to explore how to measure her lines. And that’s really what I’m doing when I read other people’s poems out loud. I think it’s the best way to get a handle on them. I’d like to go at this again, but hey, it’s Wednesday, and she’s the Poet of the Week, not the poet of next week.

You can follow along with the text here. And don’t forget to check out the Monkey’s reading of the horses poem too.

2 Comments Add yours

  1. renobarb says:

    I had the privilege of hearing Kay Ryan read and talk about this poem last spring. She was the featured poet and speaker for Reno’s annual LitCrawl. She is funny and insightful both as a speaker and as a poet.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh, I would love that. I think she’s marvelous.


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