March 27, 2016

Bill Murray: Poetry Editor

Bill Murray supports New York's Poets House and has been known to hang around with Billy Collins and others and read or post poems. In celebration of National Poetry Month, Oprah Magazine asked him if he would be interested in picking some poems for the magazine to print and to comment on them. He was and he did.

Galway Kinnell, Lucille Clifton, Thomas Lux and Naomi Shihab Nye are among the poets that Murray chose to include in the issue.

Some of his comments:

On Kinnell's "Oatmeal," about the poet sharing a meal with the late John Keats: "Alas, Kinnell, too, is now available for breakfast." (Kinnell passed away in 2014.)

Lux's odd romantic ode "I Love You Sweatheart" starts out:
A man risked his life to write the words.
A man hung upside down (an idiot friend
holding his legs?) with spray paint
to write the words on a girder fifty feet above
a highway.
The poem got this note: "This poem vibrates the insides of my ribs, where the meat is most tender."

Nye's poem "Famous" says:
I want to be famous in the way
a pulley is famous
or a buttonhole, not because it did
anything spectacular
but because it never forgot
what it could do.
Murray comments on it: "It's not the dream of being big. It's the dream of being real. That's what stands out to me."

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