Blame it on The Dad Poet, this weird new addiction of mine: reading poetry.
Poetry and I have always struggled with our friendship — I have wanted to be thought of as a smart, literate person, and, that enjoying and understanding poetry was part of the key. Poetry, however, did not seem to feel an obligation to like me back — it has remained aloof, snobbish, and superior, rejecting my attempts at friendship.
In less poetic terms: I tried, but just didn’t get it. And, this lack of understanding has always bugged me. It’s made me feel as if there were something wrong with me. I am reasonably well-read, I can write an acceptable sentence, I have a larger than average vocabulary, and I love words. And, what is poetry but words? I can pick up any book, and, even if I don’t enjoy it, I can read through it and come away with a basic understanding of the book’s story.
I cannot even begin to guess at the number of poems I’ve read over the years, read, and then stared at, then reread, then pondered, then reread, then, finally, gave up in frustration, as its meaning was elusive,hidden among words I know the meaning of, but put together in such a way as to make understanding an impossibility.
I’d come away from these sojourns into the world of poetry feeling as if I was defective, as if there were something wrong with my intelligence. I felt stupid. I don’t like feeling stupid. So, for many years, I avoided poetry, shunning it, mocking it.
But then, one day last year (exact date unknown), I stumbled upon a blog about poetry that has forever changed my view of poetry. It wasn’t one post, or one sentence that changed my attitude towards poetry, but, rather, a successive series of well-written, thoughtful posts.
David, The Dad Poet, has taken on the poetry world, and presents poetry with the belief that poetry should be accessible to all, that poetry does not have to be shrouded in images so mysterious that only The Chosen Few have any hope of understanding it.
It’s been about a year that I’ve been following his blog, reading his posts, and the discussion that often goes on in his comments section. I’ve visited the blogs he’s referenced. Most importantly, I’ve opened myself to learning.
He’s taught me many things, and I owe him a debt of gratitude.
If you have even the slightest interest in penetrating the haze of Poetry, I’d recommend stopping by his blog and taking a look around.
I’m glad to have discovered his blog, and, more importantly, over the corse of the year, I’ve been honored to get to know him, and call him friend.
(He has, however, cost me a few dollars: I’ve been buying books of, and about, poetry like crazy!)