Kristin Sanders on poetry and on "Pomegranate" by Louise Glück:
I've been thinking a lot about the idea of poetry being "too precious," and I totally get that, but for some reason when I think about my favorite poems, they end up being serious, traditional "poetry" types of poems. In my own writing, I try to stay away from the idea that poetry can only be a certain way, has to be sincere, has to end with a nice fluffy "bow" of a conclusion, shouldn't include certain uncomfortable things. I try to write against those ideas. But the poets who feel the most important to me, whose voices speak to me the strongest—Louise Glück, Margaret Atwood, Richard Siken—definitely do all of the "traditional" things I try to avoid.
I settled on this Louise Glück poem, "Pomegranate," because it's always been a favorite. I'm a fan of her use of Greek myth (especially in her book Meadowlands). I like her pessimism, her honesty about romantic relationships, her frankness, and the subtle ways she brings sex and bodies into her poems. I find her poems sort of sexy, and very sad. Or maybe realistic. I wanted to make a video that reflects my recent move back to the central coast of California, specifically San Luis Obispo: a place where—twelve years ago—Louise Glück's poems were constantly in my mind. Now I've returned, and I'm "my own woman, finally." I think writing poetry means the world sees you a certain way and projects a lot of weird stuff onto you—and this is especially true for women who write in any way about bodies, sexuality, gender, etc. But writing and reading poetry offers you access to "depths" you may not—like Demeter in the poem—normally be offered in your lifetime. I'm grateful for those depths.
Kristin Sanders is the author of CUNTRY (Trembling Pillow Press 2017 and a finalist for the 2015 National Poetry Series), This is a map of their watching me (BOAAT 2015), and Orthorexia (Dancing Girl Press 2011). She has taught at Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo; Loyola University, New Orleans; Belmont University; and Louisiana State University. She is currently a poetry editor for the New Orleans Review and a contributing writer at Weird Sister.