I have a love/hate relationship with poetry.
Let’s start with why I hate it.
The medium hasn’t always called to me. It’s always felt like the abstract expressionism of the literary world. (For those of you who don’t know, I have an abiding dislike for abstract expressionism. I can’t understand what those blocks of color have to do with art. There is no meaning behind a rectangle.) At times, poems can be beautiful. However, sometimes poems are just nonsense.
I once had to do an analysis on Emily Dickinson’s “I heard a Fly buzz–when I died,” and it was the strangest assignment I ever had. It’s a short poem, full of statements that I couldn’t understand, and themes made inscrutable by blunt words. I have since grown to appreciate the meaning the poem must have had for Dickinson, but when I was young, all I could think was, “What the actual fuck is this?”
I’ve tried my hand at writing poems, but I don’t think I’m any good. (For my latest Below Average attempt, check out this post over here!) I second-guess myself whenever I write anything that seems the least bit artsy-fartsy. Plus, I hate to come across as whiny, and I think poems have the tendency to bring that out in me. Poems are a great way to express yourself, but I’d hate for mine to turn into petulant, pre-teen-Amanda diary entries.
Now, let’s talk about why I love poems.
I adore the way my lips can form around succulent verses. Poems can be collections of the best, least-used words in your language. I don’t need to have rhymes everywhere, but a well-turned phrase gets my poetry boner going.
And I love mirroring that kind of word choice in poems of my own. I like gathering my favorite words together in a basket and then sprinkling them around the field that is a pen and paper.
Oof. I sound hoity-toity, don’t I?
My two, all-time favorite poems are “When Death Comes” by Mary Oliver and “The Hollow Men” by T.S. Eliot. If you haven’t read them, I’ve included links that should take you straight to them.
I’ve been puzzling over whether to include poetry in this blog (since I had so much fun making my last one), but I’m still undecided.
What do you guys think? Should I give it a whirl? Or should I leave that hippie-dippie, touchy-feely stuff out of this blog?