So, I have this very weird relationship with poetry.
It goes beyond the usual love/hate.
This is actually more like hate/love/hate.
Only 33.3̅% love for the stuff.
I blame Romantic poetry.
No, I'm not aromantic.
(Well, at least that's not what I'm talking about right now.)
Romantic poetry, or what I call Leaf Worship is the belief that every poet should deify everything Green in every poem, in nauseating detail. Trees are beautiful. Grass is beautiful.Flowers are beautiful. Everything is beautiful! I get it!!!
One goes from this...
QUITE QUICKLY. QUITE EASILY.
However, I also dislike poetry that is too quixotic.
Something avant grade and exciting that is completely inaccessible and unintelligible just doesn't do it for me.
I need abstraction AND substance.
(No idea what this is.
I googled 'abstraction AND substance.
It is PRETTY.)
I'm picky, I know...
So it's a very special thing when I find a poet who really touches my literary spirit... A poet who kindles that 33.3̅%.......
This is Franny Choi!
I came across Franny Choi as a Youtube suggestion (PROBABLY because I'm like always watching Korean/ Korea-related videos). Her Ted Talk performance of POP!goesKorea! immediately captured my attention. In one fell swoop of spoken word, Choi captures the complexities and ironies of economy, culture, and identity that exist in South Korea today. There is honestly no substitute for Choi's most beautiful delivery, so I've linked the performance below-- CHECK IT OUT!
"We have worn down our jaws chewing barley for centuries. Now let us eat cake."
"Pop goes South Korea. Where singers are called idols. That is, once they're cut up, boot-camped, and re-upholstered." ...
As this blogpost's title suggests, my mind did indeed go POP!
A lot of Choi's work comes from her personal experiences as a Korean American-- a perspective that is all too often overlooked in popular media. These experiences are not simply told, and rendered mere anecdotes. Rather, they are brought to life by vivd metaphors, and often shocking juxtapositions.
This is quickly becoming Poet of the Week, rather than Poem of the Week...
I'm being a total fanboy right now, but I seriously love Franny Choi's work!!! Please check out my personal favorites:
I realize now that this is the first time I've written about a LIVING poet/ author/ creative writer... I've tried to promote, rather than analyze in this post because I really feel that Franny Choi's poetry must be felted experienced for oneself. I hope I've done her some justice here... I'm basically her agent fanboy hypeman.
Choi has actually published quite a lot, AND she has received several prestigious awards and fellowships.
HEREis a link to her website which details her (numerous) publications and tours/ appearances. Check it out!!!
I am sooo looking forward to her future work!!!!!!!