Questions that I've asked:
- Do they move me in some way emotionally? I Love You Sweatheart. Yes, certainly.
- Do they engage me with their content or story? The Delicate Plummeting Bodies Yes.
- Do they mean or be? Mean. Even the excerpt from Stien from Tender Buttons "means" something to me, perhaps because we've adopted into our family's cache of language. But I like a story, a little excerpt even, which helps illuminate some aspect of life.
- I need more than surface gloss. I need content and surface, such as sound that is in accord with the meaning. Yes, I know I've talked about this one before, but Owen's poem seems to do this exceptionally well:
What passing-bells for these who die as cattle? -
Only the monstruous anger of the guns.
Only the stuttering rifles' rapid rattle
Can patter out their hasty orisons.
- I need poems whose words fit perfectly and perhaps manage to slip in an extra sense which adds another layer to the poem.
'Into many a green valley
Drifts the appalling snow;
I feel as if I'm a demanding reader. I hope that I can remember to demand these things from my own poems.