It isn’t cool, is it? Let’s face it. I love poetry personally (not all poetry obviously, that would be like saying I loved all fiction, which is clearly nonsense, there’s some utter tripe out there, and there’s some stuff that is accomplished and stylish and beloved by many but which just doesn’t appeal to me, and the same goes for poetry).
Anyway, yeah. Most people don’t read poetry, don’t think about it, don’t consider it as something they might choose to read and enjoy. But then most people listen to music – and I know plenty of people who perhaps get more out of the lyrics of the music they listen to than they do out of the music. And whether that’s skilled wordsmithery and real craft, or just something pleasingly simple and rhythmic, if you’re appreciating a song enough to write down its lyrics on someone’s facebook wall or just on a scrap of paper because they make you smile or make you feel slightly sad or whatever – there you go. That’s poetry. That’s you, appreciating poetry.
It’s not all about the blossom on the cherry trees or someone’s Shakespearean, dun, corseted bosoms. It’s not all about an old, cursed seaman, blackberries rotting in a bath, or tigers, lambs, roses, worms, innocence and experience. It can be as beautiful and gripping and telling and relevant and striking as any of your favourite songs. More so, perhaps. What I don’t know, not being massively au fait with the internet at large, and being lucky enough to live in a house full of books and the sort of people who can recommend good books to me for me to read, is where you’re likely to find things straight off that you really like. But in the meantime, you could check out Pomegranate. It’s an online magazine of poetry written by poets under 30, ordinary people, students mostly, not necessarily published poets themselves. Each month there is a theme, of sorts, and you can either write to that theme or write something else, and, out of the possibly hundreds of submissions they recieve each month, they pick about twenty, and often they’re really good.
So, if your summer has just started, you haven’t got a job yet, and you don’t know what you could do today, check out Pomegranate. Read some poetry.
Oh, and my favourite poet is Ted Hughes. Try Crow or Birthday Letters or Tales of Ovid. They’re all books, incidentally, not individual poems. Meanwhile perhaps this is why I occasionally swear on my blog (sorry Dad). None of these links will take you particularly long to check out, incidentally. Don’t be so lazy, it’ll take you a minute to read that last one, and perhaps a little longer to get vaguely to grips with Pomegranate.