My relationship with poetry is very tumultuous. In school, I spent my days loathing poetry. I had believed that poetry was only taught because the other students were too lazy to read lengthy prose. Poetry was my downfall and my weakness in English. Somehow I could never improve. My interpretations and analysis were always deemed “shallow.” Why couldn’t I grasp the majesty of cryptically saying very little to mean a lot? I fretted over poetry so much that I decided that I simply hated it. I wanted no more “shall I compare thee to a summer’s day?” I wanted prose. Sweet sweet prose!
I suppose I could have spent the rest of my days stubbornly hating poetry. That is until I decided to take the time to appreciate it. I had to try to understand why a person would have the desire to write poetry.
“While writing his or her long and difficult poem, the poet takes comfort in knowing that in one hundred years when the poet is dead, he or she can torment the minds of students everywhere!” – My initial thoughts.
“They like the idea of being cryptic and mysterious. It’s like those people who give riddles instead of actually saying: ‘the treasure chest is located at these coordinates, have fun digging it up’, or ‘this is your destiny; you fight the monster… you die heroically… the end’. Mind you, that doesn’t make for an interesting story…” – More initial thoughts.
“He doesn’t really understand what he is trying to say either.” –thought after reading “Kubla Khan” by Samuel Taylor Coleridge. Just try to make sense of it, I dare you!
Eventually, I came to a deeper understanding of poetry. It is the same principle when attempting to appreciate a novel. Poetry is enjoyed if the reader can connect with the emotions of the poet. I had to learn how to appreciate poetry before I could learn to tolerate it. Now, I might even go as far to say that I like poetry.