Tuesday, April 10, 2018

I is for David Irwin: Nostalgia in Smells

It's April! Time for the AtoZ Blogging Challenge!

For those who haven't played along before, the AtoZ Blogging Challenge asks bloggers to post every day during April (excepting Sundays), which works out to 26 days, one for each letter of the alphabet. In my opinion, it's the most fun if you choose a theme.

This will be my 5th year participating.
My theme this year is Poets I Love all about some of the poets whose work has touched me over the years.

For my regular readers, you'll see more than the usual once-a-week posts from me this month. I'm having a great time writing them, so I hope you enjoy reading them, too. Be sure to check out some of the other bloggers stretching their limits this month to share their passions with you, too. With over 400 participants, there is bound to be something you'd love to read.

When planning out my list of poets, I often had to choose between six or seven beloved poets for a single letter, but there were a few letters where I couldn't think of anyone. The Letter "I" was one of those. With a little research, I found a few: David Ignatow, Isaac Rosenberg, Holly Iglesias, Isaac Watts,  Ingrid Jonker. But the truth is, that none of these were poets I already knew and loved, not like the rest of the poets I'm writing about in this series. 

At first I was frustrated, but then I realized that I had just handed myself an excuse to read a bunch of new poets and find out who spoke to me. Turns out it was Mark Irwin. I've still only read a few of his poems, but I'll be seeking out more. 

This one is my favorite of what I've read so far: "My Father's Hats." 

It captures that feeling of your dad is someone epic and strong and large that some of us experienced as children. In that way, it reminds me of Theodore Roethke's poems about his father, in particular "My Papa's Waltz." I love the part about smelling the inner silk crowns of the hats. So intimate. And what the smell evoked for the speaker. 

Any other poets starting with "I" (first name or last) that I ought to check out? Let me know in the comments! 

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