Back when I started this blog, I wrote a post called Why Poetry Sucks - it's one of my most viewed posts, and now that I think about it, one of the most excessively critical posts on this blog. I had decided never to delete any of the posts I have written, just because I change my opinions; so instead of removing the post, I am re-writing it.
I don't like poetry, usually, because it doesn't draw me in as much as prose does. I think good poetry is very hard to write. I think a poem should not be vague for the sake of being vague. Inverting lines and using pompous words doesn't cut it; which is why, I don't like most of the poetry posted all over the internet; then again, I don't like most of the prose posted around the internet for the very same reasons, as well.
Once upon a time, I claimed I wouldn't like short stories, without actually ever having read a single collection. I had already decided I didn't like plays, when I discovered Oscar Wilde. Sometime last year, someone suggested that I read Poe's The Raven (I can't recall who) and I did and I liked it. I read a book last month, sitting in the library, a book of poems by Wordsworth; I liked quite a few and didn't quite like some others. Last week I was looking for books on Shakespeare and I flitted through the pages of a book of sonnets and loved almost every one I read. My point is - I change my opinions quite a lot, hm? Actually, my point is, I seem to form a lot of strong, uninformed opinions. And it may be time for me to inform myself about poetry!
There's a problem, though. I have a method set for reading fiction; I know whose recommendations to trust, I know what genres I like, I know the names of most of the authors out there. My books-to-be-read list is already four feet long! When it comes to poetry, what I have in my head is a white screen (of sorts) with a big question mark in the centre. I don't know whom to read, where to start and how to look for good poems. So I'm posting this hoping that someone will tell me about their favourite poems, the poets they like and the different kinds of poetry out there. What would you suggest?