Not for the Love of Poetry

In the wee hours of the morning I find myself thinking about poetry. Why, I have no idea, for it is not my thing. To me, it seems an easy, simple genre nowadays, unlike Homer’s “The Illiad” or Shakespeare’s work. Anyone, it seems, can be a poet. Words, syllables, and short phrases stacked atop each other without even rhyming just do not do much for me.

Nursery rhymes continue to be stuck in my mind and have come in handy for amusing babies and toddlers. In high school I enjoyed reading the poems of Robert Frost and Walt Whitman, but it is also where I began questioning poetic interpretations. I just could not understand how teachers or scholars could presume to know what a poet, who was long dead, was trying to say. How could they know? The poets did not give an explanation of their work. Couldn’t they mean more than one thing? Isn’t poetry open to interpretation? Apparently not, for what I interpreted a poem to mean or be expressing was not what the teacher said it meant. I could not get it, became frustrated, and decided poetry was not for me. I guess, it just really bugged me that I was being TOLD what a dead person was writing about instead of having it explained to me. Of course, this made me realize that educators are simply relaying what they have been taught. However, when I got to college, I was introduced to Dante’s “Inferno” and, although I disliked the tormented content, I thoroughly understood it. We also studied some of the fallacies of the Bible. Very interesting.

Unlike me, my husband loves poetry and pours over verse after verse to discern the depth of its meaning. (shrug) Like it can’t mean just what it says? He tries to enlist my help, but I just do not get what all the fuss is about. I try to see what he believes is there, but my brain goes numb with the effort.

Despite my meager protestations, I must admit that once in a great while I find myself penning a poem, a succinct, unembellished flow of words that seem to know exactly where they want to go. I do have a small folder of them, but they are not cheerful pieces. Sometimes poetry is the perfect medium for how one feels about the world…But, the bottom line is: You like/love/dislike what you like/love/dislike and very seldom can you be dissuaded otherwise.


About Cyranette

I have been writing since I was 11 and am now a grandmother of 9. Aside from my family, I love writing, reading, movies, gardening, genealogy, and travel. I met my soulmate online and we've been married 19 years. I am a survivor of rape, abuse, and cancer. I believe in love, kindness, and common sense. I was born/raised in Indiana and have lived in Massachusetts, Texas, and California. I have visited: most of the United States, British Columbia, Germany, Austria, and Costa Rica. My husband and I would like to visit England, Europe, and New Zealand and to take a train ride along the Canadian/American border. I have written essays, articles, short stories, a romance novel, a self-help book, and several children's books.
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One Response to Not for the Love of Poetry

  1. jennibug says:

    I feel much the same way you do about poetry… I do write it myself as well, but VERY infrequently. Most of my poetry was written either during times of deep despair or after just having fallen in love – two extremes of emotion. I’m lucky that most of my life I’ve spent somewhere in the middle of those two extremes. But I always hated the times during English/Lit classes where we all gave our opinions of what an author or a piece “meant.” It’s all so relative, and there’s nooo way of ever knowing what really went through someone’s mind when they wrote. I prefer to gather from what I read only what I, myself, find useful.

    Good writing! 🙂


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