Like many I guess, I came to appreciate poetry as an adult. As this blog develops, I plan to share many of my favorite lines of poetry.
Since I benefit greatly from analogies and illustrations, perhaps the following will help you when it comes to the value of poetry:
Most everyone I know loves turkey stuffing. And it seems there is never enough. Good cooks know how to jam as much of the tasty concoction as is possible into a very small space.
Good poetry is like turkey stuffing. It compresses language to create something tasty intellectually. With few words, a good poet can create big, explosive, wonderful, and yes, even delicious ideas. Ideas that spark the imagination, stimulate the love of virtue, transport us to new worlds, and so much more.
One last thing before you pick up that dusty volume of poetry: read slowly! Poetry should not be sped read anymore than you should wolf down great stuffing.
Speaking of compressing a lot into a few lines, a high school friend of mine had a poetic uncle who supposedly had the distinction of having written the smallest poem in English. It reads:
Enjoy stuffing, but up to this point, not a BIG fan of poetry; HOWEVER, I am looking forward to what you put out there, Dave, with the hope that I, even I, will be won over and repent of my present station in life with regard to this powerful venue.
I remember my husband, after playing a Bob Dylan album, telling a Japanese college student who lived with us to listen to the lyrics (the lyrics being poetry put to music). A few years later we visited her in another city. She recalled the story and brought out a book that she had purchased: Bob Dylan’s lyrics written in English on one side of the book and his lyrics in Japanese on the other side.
Very cool Jeannie! Kudos to Peter!