Mackenzie Hurlbert — Staff Writer
I once heard one of my friends in English class say something along these lines, “Ugh poetry. It’s all such nonsense. People only say it has a deep meaning if they over-interpret the gibberish the poet wrote.” I’m pretty sure my heart broke a little that day, and it took many days until I could listen to that classmate without cringing.
How could an English major hate poetry? How could anyone hate poetry? In my opinion, if you haven’t been emotionally moved, entertained, or at least slightly interested by a poem then you either haven’t been reading the right poetry or you haven’t been reading any!
No matter your interests, if you have any appreciation of language as art then you can appreciate a good poem. If you love horror movies, read some of Edgar Allen Poe’s poetry or maybe some Sylvia Plath. If you love nature, check out some Robert Frost. If you love the Spanish language, look up Pablo Neruda’s poetry. If you are a dramatic person or love theatre, check out some Slam poetry on YouTube. If you’re experiencing love, jealousy, doubts, and other perfectly human and common emotions, then read some of Shakespeare’s sonnets (maybe his concluding couplet could hold some answers for you). You probably get my drift already, but trust me. Everyone has a poet out there providing poetry read to rock your world.
And guys, don’t be afraid to get into poetry. Don’t resist because people say it’s too girly or too sensitive. If you’re a real man, you can show a softer side by reading a poem or two. And who knows, maybe you could eventually use your new knowledge of a love poem to impress a certain someone. I see poetry as art; both are so diverse and extensive that it is hard to imagine a world without them, so how can anyone omit either from their life?!
Poetry has always been a passion of mine. The way a poet can use a handful of words to create a world of emotion and images has captured me since I could read. It all began with Ogden Nash and Shel Silverstein then progressed to Robert Frost and Edgar Allan Poe. But no matter the maturity, genre or style of the poetry I read, it was the imagery and music of it all that sparked my interest.
The talent of being able to use the exact words to recreate an experience is one I never fully appreciated until I started to attempt to write my own poetry. I never realized how hard it is, and how complex language and meaning is. I learned that each word has its own connotations for different people, and in order to be a successful poet, one must be able to manipulate those connotations. I also learned to appreciate rhyme, alliteration and rhythm, the essence of what makes poetry so musical. With this newly gained knowledge, I now appreciate poetry on a whole new level! Imagine recreating an emotionally-charged experience such as your first kiss, or the death of your dog in a couple lines–that takes incredible talent.
With so much great poetry out there, I wish everyone could learn to enjoy it as much as I have. No matter your gender, interests, race or age, there is a style of poetry out there that fits you. If you took the time to read this article then you can devote a couple more minutes to reading a poem, and I hope both the article and poem are equally enjoyed.