[Note: the picture is of Billy Collins, a former United States Poet Laureate and an avid golfer. If you ever have the chance to hear Professor Collins read his poetry out loud (he has two CDs out), you will be convinced quicky that poetry must be read out loud to be fully enjoyed.]
Though it is hard for me to believe, I have now been writing this Blog for almost two years. The Blog now includes more than 100 Posts and close to 100 golf poems. The good news is that golfers interested in finding poetry about golf are finding this site. The Blog has recorded more than 37,000 page views. The bad news is that the Blog is 100 years late in getting started. As I have mentioned in these pages, golf poetry was routinely included in all the golf magazines published early in the 20th century. And books of golf poetry were bought and enjoyed. Moreover, poetry was recited at club meetings by poetry writing members.
My purpose in writing this Blog has been to make this golf poetry of the past (and a few poems of the present) available to a generation of golfers who have had no access to this literature. But poetry, different than prose, puts an extra demand on its readers: it asks that you read it out loud. Though you are easily convinced that yelling “Fore” is a good idea when an errant ball is hit, you may be less sure about the value of reading poetry out loud. Even more so, when you rarely come across any kind of poetry, let alone golf poetry. So my only hope of convincing you may be to write a poem with the right incentive:
READ GOLF POETRY OUT LOUD
Read golf poetry out loud,
It will lower your score;
And if one poem doesn’t do it,
Read two or three more!
If you believe all of those equipment ads, maybe this poem will work as well. But if not, search around the Blog and find a poem that appeals to you…and then gather up your courage and read it out loud. Maybe even more than once. I hope this exercise will convince you that reading poetry out loud adds greatly to your understanding and enjoyment of the poem. If you are inclined, leave a comment and let me know what you think.