True confession. Yes, I have a degree in English literature. Yes, I’ve read the “Faerie Queen” and “Leaves of Grass”. No, I don’t read poetry.
Why? Like most readers, I don’t get poetry. It’s difficult to read. It takes effort and time. I like to read stuff I quickly understand. Stuff which enters my brain and instantly computes. Granted, I’ve enjoyed poetry, sometimes. Especially when it’s explained to me!
But wait a minute, I write poetry! How is this possible?
I started writing poetry as soon as I learned how to use a pen. Poems just came out of me. How did I know what a poem was? Well, I was read to as a child. Bedtime stories were the poems of A. A. Milne and Robert Louis Stevenson. My mom disapproved of Dr. Suess, but she read me many other books like the long poem, “Madeline”. This doesn’t entirely explain my knack for writing free verse, but it will have to do for now.
So my apologies to all the poets in the world, alive and dead. I do read your stuff from time to time. Especially when you thrust it in front of my nose. And if it’s easy to read; if it flies off the page and into my brain and gives me that “Ahhhh” feeling, which a brilliant combination of words tends to do; I thank you! And I keep on writing in my quest to pass that feeling on to you.