On Poetry

I find it very frustrating when people tell me “I don’t like poetry.”  Really, you don’t like any poetry? 

It’s ok if you don’t like all poetry.  That would be ridiculous.  But I find it impossible that those nay-sayers have never enjoyed even one poem. 

Poetry gets a bad rap in the English department.  Even people that will gladly read James Joyce or Anthony Trollope will squinch up their noses when I tell them that I study Romantic poetry.  It’s less the romanticism that bothers them, I find, and more the poetry. 

Let’s face it: the Prelude isn’t much fun.  Sometimes Shelley is a bit pretentious.  But you mean to tell me you don’t like “Rime of the Ancyent Marinere”? Or “She Walks in Beauty”? Edgar Lee Masters?  Christina Rossetti?  Emily Dickinson?  Edgar Allan Poe?  Shakespeare? Shel Silverstein?

Show me someone who doesn’t like poetry, and I will show you someone who hasn’t read enough poems.  Don’t discount things just because you thought meter was difficult to understand.  Keep reading and exploring, and I promise you will be surprised at what you find.

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