“National Poetry Month each April is the largest literary celebration in the world, with tens of millions of readers, students, K-12 teachers, librarians, booksellers, literary events curators, publishers, bloggers, and, of course, poets marking poetry’s important place in our culture and our lives.
While we celebrate poets and poetry year-round, the Academy of American Poets was inspired by the successful celebrations of Black History Month (February) and Women’s History Month (March), and founded National Poetry Month in April 1996 with an aim to:
- highlight the extraordinary legacy and ongoing achievement of American poets,
- encourage the reading of poems,
- assist teachers in bringing poetry into their classrooms,
- increase the attention paid to poetry by national and local media,
- encourage increased publication and distribution of poetry books, and
- encourage support for poets and poetry.”
Which is all well and good! I’m here for it. But…honestly? I hate poetry.
I know as a librarian, I should value all forms of literature and expression. And I do! But poetry is something that I just have never really understood or got into. I remember reading Shel Silverstein in school, and loving those sillier poems. I understand the importance of learning rhyming schemes and all.
I remember loving Edgar Allan Poe’s poems, but I think that was because they were more long-form and storylike as opposed to poetry. And obviously I love songwriting and music, so I get lyrics. But as far as reading poetry for enjoyment? It’s baffling to me.
So, I’m doing an experiment. I’ve scoured the internet for “poetry books for people who hate poetry”. I’m building a small list for myself. And I’m going to attempt to enjoy poetry!
My first books: The Poetry & Short Stories of Dorothy Parker and Fatal Interview: Sonnets by Edna St. Vincent Millay. The first book I found on a site that mentioned how Parker wrote about how much dating sucked in the 1920s and 30s (so obviously, I’m into it) and I’ve read some Millay poems on Tumblr, but I want to give her a fair shot. I think next week I’ll try some Emily Dickinson.
Obviously, I’m going to blog about my attempts, maybe with either a mini-round up review at the end of the month, or I’ll blog as I go!
Who are some of your favorite poets?