I am relatively new to my love of poetry, but like most new love, it has really taken hold of me. I play around with writing poetry, I thoroughly enjoy reading poetry, and I love to listen to poetry be read aloud.
A year or so ago, I was not in love. Sure I had paid a casual visit or two in classes or maybe mixed up with other work, but nothing grabbed my attention. Then last year I stumbled upon an app on my iPhone which includes some famous celebrities reading poems. Somehow having the poems read to me really made me sit up and take notice. I was hooked. I’ve been getting in deeper ever since.
Now when I browse the stacks of books at my favorite bookstore, I am inevitably drawn to a slim new collection of poems or a big, fat, doorstop of an anthology that must come home with me. Yes, that button you’ve seen that says “I can’t be trusted in a bookstore with a credit card” is so totally true for me. 🙂
One of my latest acquisitions was a book called Poetry 180 by Billy Collins which contains 180 contemporary poems inspired by Collins’ poem-a-day project with the Library of Congress. Many of the poems included are ones I have seen before, but some have been delightful new treats. One poem I found again in this anthology is one I just absolutely love and recommend you check out if you get a chance. “The Poem of Chalk” by Philip Levine is really lovely and the ending really hit me. It is just so beautiful in its own way.
So why poetry? I can tell you that it somehow just clicked for me for the first time and now I am having fun with it. But how about I share some of my favorite quotes about reading and writing poetry to help answer that question a little better?
“You don’t read to discover the poet, you read to discover yourself” – Billy Collins
“Poetry is just the evidence of life. If you life is burning well, poetry is just the ash.” –Leonard Cohen
“Poetry lifts the veil from the hidden beauty from the world and makes familiar objects be as if they were not familiar” -Percy Bysshe Shelley
“Poetry is important. No less than science, it seeks a hold upon reality, and the closeness of its approach is the test of its success.” – Babette Deutsch
“Writing poetry is weightlifting for writers of any genre. It builds artistic muscle.” – Antonio Felix
What about you? Do you like poetry? Or is it about the same as a trip to the dentist? Do you write poetry? Or would it take a dare (or worse) to tempt you to pen a poem? Please feel free to share your thoughts in the comments. Leave a poem. Leave a suggestion for a new poem or poet or anthology I should read. Or just wax poetic (haha) about anything you have recently fallen in love with like I have with poetry.