I have a problem with Mary Oliver.
Much as I like her
and I do have a book of hers
all of her poems after a while
seem the same.
It may seem harsh but it’s a judgment
people could make of my poems
or, for that matter, any one’s poems.
Each poet has a voice, just as each singer has,
each artist, and that voice inhabits each of their poems.
You can recognize a Billy Collins poem,
a Charles Simic poem, a Lewis Carrol poem,
or, for that matter, a Shakespeare or Ben Jonson poem.
Each poem within a poet’s work is, of course, different,
but the song, to use Led Zeppelin phrase, remains the same.
There is no way out of it. No way around it.
Maybe familiarity does breed contempt.
But many of us find comfort in familiarity too,
Swings and Roundabouts.