I was watching a movie last night called The Romantics, and it was all very prettily shot and cast (Katie Holmes is still stunning even if she's married to an idiot..and Anna Paquin, depite not really being able to act, is very lovely). It was very much a boy meets girl, boy meets other girl, boy & girl are off and on, boys marries other girl despite being in love with first girl story, but the main point seemed to be that out of control passion does not necessarily make for sound & sane marriage. The scene I was rolling my eyes over, in particular, was one in which the main guy character (Josh Duhamel, also hot) finally has his way with Katie Holme's character the night before he's supposed to marry Anna Paquin and presses her passionately up against a tree while reciting Keat's "Ode to A Nightingale" between kisses, which all seemed sort of ridiculous. I always have this weird disassociation of poetry from ordinary life, which perhaps as a writer and editor I shouldn't. Anyone who stopped to recite Keats while attempting to seduce me would probably get an awkward laughing fit followed by an "er..no..".
The idea is romantic, but it seems a little pretentious and silly, and the sort of thing that makes me self-conscious about being a poet. But then, I think, wasn't one of poetry's major roles throughout history as a sort of seduction? Isn't this probably what Keats himself was doing, whispering his odes to some breathless, corseted lass? Admittedly, alot of the poems in havoc are addressed to men, not so much specific men in most cases, usually a distillation or amalgamation of certain people. Since they are more about relationship anxieties, I probably wouldn't be willing to share them straight off with a new relationship. When the fever almanac had just come out, I'd just started seeing a couple different guys, both of whom were interested in my writing enough to want a copy, something that made me VERY self-conscious about the poems therein. Maybe it's just the poems I write, none of which are love or erotic poems per se (there might be any of the above in the poem, but the goal is something else.) Even the greats and poems by other people, you probably wouldn't find me sharing them with a lover..at least not reciting them (I have e-mailed poems to men before for various reasons, but not really as any sort of seduction.) I would just feel a little silly saying the words aloud.