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Q&A: Ready for Rhyme Time

TV's latest import has poetry on her mind.

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Daisy Goodwin is a bona fide poetry phenomenon in Britain—launching a poetry TV show and becoming a sex symbol for the smart set. Now the witty Cambridge grad is coming out with her anthology of "emotional first aid," 101 Poems That Could Save Your Life.

People have called you the Nigella of poetry! Ha! Well, we do both appeal to the male mind, but I'm younger, for one, and also have a much more difficult job. She gets to lick berries and finger carrots, while I have to look sexy talking about John Donne.

Isn’t the verdict in academia that poetry is dead? So much of modern poetry sounds unintelligible. But accessible poetry is especially relevant right now. I mean, we live in a world of computers, which foster a very nonlinear way of thinking. Poetry is very similar—you sort of click on a word, and it unwraps many layers of meaning. And you don’t need much of an attention span.

You present poems as a therapeutic device more effective than Prozac or martinis. Any for New Yorkers in particular? Hmmm. For the New York woman, I'd prescribe “Loss,” by Wendy Cope. It’s quite short: “The day he moved out was terrible— / That evening she went through hell. / His absence wasn’t a problem / But the corkscrew had gone as well.”

Ever take a stab at poetry yourself? God knows I’ve tried. And God knows it’s all crap. But I can spot a good one!


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