I've heard several comments recently (as I've started posting more poetry on my blog) -- comments from people who "don't like poetry" or "don't get poetry" and I have to say, this kills me and my inner poet every time.
"I don't like poetry!"
Here's the problem. Poetry has been hijacked by marketers and twisted into becoming nothing more than a few catchy (if we're lucky) phrases that rhyme, thrown together to promote the remembrance of some product. Poetry is NOT some corporate whore, people. No wonder people don't like her. That is NOT poetry; I wouldn't want to hang out with that kind of tramp all the time either.
"I don't get poetry!"
Here's the problem. Poetry has been abused, raped, and beaten to death by English teachers everywhere, who feel the need to overanalyze each and every poetic device ad nauseam (it's okay; I can say this as I was one of those teachers for a couple years). Poetry is a thing of beauty. It's meant to be admired, adored, and loved -- not clawed and pawed at, undressed unceremoniously and left to quiver nakedly under some malicious scrutiny. What a horrible way to cheapen poetry into some dirty little tramp in a darkened back alley! No wonder people don't get her. I wouldn't be looking to understand someone I was treating that way either.
So how do I enjoy poetry then?
For the men reading this, welcome to what women REALLY want as well; take notes! (lol) You ready? Here it is: Treat Poetry like the amazing woman that she is:
- Like any woman, Poetry needs to be wined and dined. She has secrets hiding deep within like any woman. She wants to be known like any woman. But, yes, you are going to have to take the time to get to know her. Seek her beauty and she will reward you in kind.
- Savor the moments. Like a fine wine (and yes, this analogy still applies to women too!), poetry cannot be rushed. Inhale the scent of the overall bouquet -- the beauty of the soft sounds whispered solemnly (poetry should be heard as well as seen -- read aloud). Every sip must be rolled around on the tongue. Taste... Every... Word... And feel the rush that follows -- the beautiful agony of burning desire. Appreciate the pain from which the beauty came, the crushing of the soul to squeeze the last drops of sweetness. The capturing of each and every image, thought, and feeling... and the time, the churning, and the careful attention that it takes for them to mingle and age into something of worth.
This is your first lesson in understanding poetry. More to come. Above all, wait for True Poetry (the ONE). Accept no imitations or substitutes. Nothing satiates the soul like the throes of poetic passion and the amazing afterglow that awaits.