Friday, 18 November 2011

Do I like poetry?

Poetry seems like a thing I should be interested in. They come in books, and they're all wordy and literary. I've tried to read poetry. It usually goes like this: 'Okay, okay, yeah, okay, no, I don't understand'. A poem has always seemed like a puzzle I don't know how to solve. There's a whole form to it. A secret language. What about the pentameters? And the triplets? And the iambs and the foots? These words give me a blank face and an even blanker brain. I always take a poem at face value without hanging on every syllable. There are poems that I like. I can't name them right now, but I'm sure they exist. And I like them for what they're saying, not for their clever clever verse structure. And then there's the poets that fill every line with references to Greek mythology and ancient Celtic folklore. What am I meant to do with this? Okay, I'll rush straight to the library before I tackle the next verse.

I'm allowed to say these things, because I'm a postgraduate.

So I write poetry even less than I read it. In the past, when I really had to write a poem for academic reasons, I would start feeling deeply cynical and take out all the line breaks. I turned them into paragraphs. Now I have a chance to take a poetry module. And if I'm ever going to be interested in it, it's going to be now with these tutors and these people. If I did write a few poems, I don't know what they would look like. I don't know if I would like them. I'd much rather write a short story about evil machines. But I might have a go.


  1. Poetry is a complete puzzle to me as I just don't bother with it! It is such a mystery and I wonder if it is just because I'm incredibly thick or .....just thick!

  2. I had problems studying poetry in school. Some of the poems they made us read made absolutely no sense at all and just confused and lade bare the inadequacy of my knowledge.

    Lately, though, I've been getting into the Beat poets and those I can really get my head around. There's a certain immediacy, acceptability and honesty about their work that is hard to find with most other poets.

  3. I can only say don't try to understand, and read aloud. It's primarily a sound medium.

  4. Brent - I think I know the feeling.

    Syndeylk - Jack Kerouac?

    Titus - Good advice. I'll give it a go.