But I find poetry boring!
Kei Miller - 17 January 2010
This is not something I thought I was ever allowed to admit - that I find a good deal of poetry insufferably boring! And I'm not just talking about some of the ill-considered doggerel that's out there; I'm talking about poems that everyone else seems to agree is good, and excellent, and the very best. So I worry that if I admit the truth that I don't particularly like Pound or Donne or any number of poets, living or dead, that I really am supposed to like, that my own license will be revoked; that they will think I have no taste, or that I am a fraud.
But it's true, I am afraid; and maybe it is true for all of us. We don't like everything. Also, some poems are only for a season. We grow into one poem as we grow out of another. The wonderful thing is this: there are so many good poets out there, writing eloquently and movingly, and in so many different ways. We don't have to try to like everyone - even those who everyone else says we should like.
On my part, I first got hooked to Emily Dickinson, and then that fire grew brighter when I fell in love with a Caribbean poet, Lorna Goodison. And then when I heard W.S. Merwyn reading his poem 'My Friends' (http://www.poets.org/viewmedia.php/prmMID/15742) and 'After the Alphabet', then it was I had that trembling experience where I thought I was in the presence of greatness, where I loved a poem far more than I could understand it, and experiencing language and rhythm was more important than dissecting it. Who are some of the poets that did that for you?