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Poetry: Do you like it?

Back when I started this blog, I wrote a post called Why
Poetry Sucks
 – it’s one of my most viewed posts, and now that I think
about it, one of the most excessively critical posts on this
blog. I had decided never to delete any of the posts I have written, just
because I change my opinions; so instead of removing the post, I am re-writing
it.
I don’t like poetry, usually, because it doesn’t draw me in
as much as prose does. I think good poetry is very hard to write. I think
a poem should not be vague for the sake of being vague. Inverting lines
and using pompous words doesn’t cut it; which is why, I don’t like most of the
poetry posted all over the internet; then again, I don’t like most of the prose
posted around the internet for the very same reasons, as well.
Once upon a time, I claimed I wouldn’t like short stories,
without actually ever having read a single collection. I had already decided I
didn’t like plays, when I discovered Oscar Wilde. Sometime last year, someone
suggested that I read Poe’s The Raven (I can’t recall who) and I did and I
liked it. I read a book last month, sitting in the library, a book of poems by
Wordsworth; I liked quite a few and didn’t quite like some others. Last week I
was looking for books on Shakespeare and I flitted through the pages of a book
of sonnets and loved almost every one I read. My point is – I change my
opinions quite a lot, hm? Actually, my point is, I seem to form a lot of strong, uninformed opinions. And it may be time for me to inform myself about poetry!
There’s a problem, though. I have a method set for reading
fiction; I know whose recommendations to trust, I know what genres I like, I know
the names of most of the authors out there. My books-to-be-read list is already
four feet long! When it comes to poetry, what I have in my head is a white
screen (of sorts) with a big question mark in the centre. I don’t know whom to
read, where to start and how to look for good poems. So I’m posting this hoping
that someone will tell me about their favourite poems, the poets they like and
the different kinds of poetry out there. What would you suggest?

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8 comments on “Poetry: Do you like it?
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