After a completely sane, reasonable, temperate email exchange with Andrew Merton following my review of some of the poems in his book, Evidence that We Are Descended from Chairs, I feel like it’s important to share a couple of the poems from the book that didn’t get my knickers in a feminist lather.
Also, it begs repeating: Merton is, himself, a feminist. He’s written extensively on womens issues and is one of the few men to have ever been published in Ms. Magazine.
As I mentioned in the original post, there are a lot of poems that are really funny and can’t be read as anti-feminist at all. So I’m going to share some of these with you now.
Here’s one of the funniest ones:
My favorite line is, “because astrology is serious business.”
And I think the last stanza here shows–in particular–Merton’s personal sympathy with women.
Here is another funny one about the moon’s cliches.
And finally, “Why I Left The Poetry Reading Early” beautifully describes a writer’s sense of awe and neurosis around writers she admires.
I liked to imagine while I read this one that the poet Merton was talking about here was Billy Collins, a former US Poet Laureate whose work is also frank and funny.