Sunday, July 1, 2012

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?


comicbookgeek said...

If you are looking for famous poets try Pushkin, Byron and P.B.Shelley.

Priya said...

I am not looking for any one type in particular, but thanks for the suggestion :) Will try them!

Unknown said...

I'm not huge into poetry but there are a few poets I like. I love e.e cummings and a few from Sylvia Plath. I think poetry can be really cool, but it's not something I can read regularly. I just find snippets of stuff and end up loving them.
Anyway, I've tagged you in the Liebster Blog Award!

Priya said...

I have tried a couple of poems by Sylvia Plath and I have studied some, but I have never tried E.E.Cummings. Thanks for the recommendation, I'll certainly take it up!

Oh, and, thanks for stopping by, and of course, for the blog award!

Claudia said...

I had the same problem. I just didn't feel I engaged with poetry the same way I did with prose. I love Baudelaire, Plath and Eliot (The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock is wonderful and highly recommended), but beyond a handful of poems I had no idea what to read (and especially how to read. I always felt I was missing something when it came to poetry).

I found all of the poems I love by accident, so I swear by just sampling poems. Recently we started this series discussing poems, perhaps one of those poems could be a good jumping point to discover others? An anthology might also be full of nice surprises.

The Librarian said...

Alone by E A Poe
Invictus by William Ernest Henley
Do not stand at my grave and weep by Mary Frye

These are three of my favorites

Priya said...

Thanks a lot for the link. I just read Prufrock and it really is wonderful - I wouldn't have picked up an Eliot by myself, but I am happy I did! Thanks for the recommendation :) I am now going to keep on sampling poems, till I find my favourite, like you've said. Glad you stopped by :)

Priya said...

I haven't read Alone, but I will. Apart from The Raven I have only ever read Annabel Lee and The Conquerer Worm by Edgar Allan Poe. I liked them both, which makes me think I'll like this one too.
I vaguely remember learning and liking Invictus way back in school. Time to revisit it, I guess!
Thanks for sharing your favourites; more poems for me to read. Glad you stopped by!

Post a Comment