I have a dear friend who loves poetry and can quote huge chunks of it anytime you ask. I envy her that because most of the time poetry doesn’t work for me. I had a brief flirtation with John Donne in college but that light burned bright and then died quietly and though I’ve tried, I haven’t been able to work up the will to take another ride on the Poetry Appreciation Train. I want to ride but I just don’t get most poetry. I’ve often wondered if this disability is tied up with my inability to appreciate jazz or the Three Stooges–it’s something that works for some but not all. I had grown accustomed to thinking that poetry, much like pro football, was never going to be for me. However, I stumbled across a collection of sijo poems in the children’s collection a while back and finally found a crack in my poetry defenses. My favorite from the book is called Wish and it so perfectly conveys how poetry should work on a person’s heart that it almost makes me weep (almost.) Thanks to this Korean form of poetry, which looks so innocent and non-threatening, I’ve been tempted into the poetry section–that’s 811 to the Dewey Decimal users among us. It’s still rocky going but I’ve now realized that Edna St. Vincent Millay is not as twee and ladylike as I thought and that has been a marvelous discovery for me. Maybe I’ll give John Donne a call.
Dec 28 2009