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Arts & Entertainment

Dating Myself

The Favorite Poem Project: Mark Palmer reads Poetri

Click above to hear Mark Palmer read "Dating Myself" by Poetri

Mark Palmer (SMG’83), an administrator in the College of Arts and Sciences anthropology department

“Dating Myself” by Poetri

“What do a middle-aged white BU administrator and a young African-American spoken-word poet from the HBO Def Poetry Jam have in common? Lots. We are both human, both guys, and both finding frustration and humor in our search for a soulmate. Poetri infuses the search with universal feelings of bewilderment, yet finds a humorous solution: find happiness by dating yourself!”

“By reading poems we love aloud, we can learn how much pleasure there can be in the sounds of words,” says Robert Pinsky, a College of Arts and Sciences professor of English and former U.S. poet laureate. “It’s as though saying the words of a poem aloud makes one feel more able, more capable than in ordinary life. You enter a different state.”

Pinsky founded the Favorite Poem Project in 1997 during the first of an unprecedented three terms as poet laureate to encourage Americans to celebrate and explore their love of poetry. Since then, the project — now directed by BU poet Maggie Dietz (GRS’97) — has produced three anthologies and more than 1,000 readings around the country.

Throughout the semester, BU Today features a member of the BU community reading his or her favorite poem. Any student or faculty or staff member can participate.

If you’d like to read your favorite poem for BU Today, e-mail us at today@bu.edu.