Once upon a time, I hated poetry. That was back in elementary and high school when they presented children with rhymey phrases and expected their still developing minds to glean metaphors and Christ-like allegories from seemingly random spatter of words.
Maybe it was just the ignorance of youth. We were expected to understand Frost when we’ve never chosen paths, Browning when we’ve never known commitment, Frye when we’ve never known loss.
But as I’ve grown older, as each happenstance makes these subjects more relatable, I’ve started to understand how these verses are beautiful, and why poets will our langauge to encourage hope, shame oppressors, and express desires.
One thing I’ve learned though is that passively reading poetry is a bit like watching baseball from the nosebleeds. Sure, interesting things happen, you miss how certain phrases roll off the tongue, or how the meter accentuate topics.
So I urge you, the reader: try memorizing poetry. I average about one poem a month, but I find myself reciting them when driving home, or when I’m exercising. It’s become an active, and engaging form of entertainment.