book fairs · poetry

Caution! Poetry ↓

Reading poetry is like being outside, sitting under a tree somewhere deep in the woods for example or on top of a hill with a wide view on a seemingly endless patchwork of meadows – both bring that unique atmosphere of tranquility, harmony, and beauty.

cowsEven though some of my favorite authors are poets I seldom read poetry. I take a dip in Auden or Dickinson every now and then but, what I’m aiming to point out is – I am SO rarely inclined to read others, to search for new favorites (so rarely that I seriously wonder if ‘rarely’ is the right choice of word here, and if there’s a word to denote frequency so close to non-existing one). Only three of three hundred books currently residing on my to-read list are poetry collections.

A vast majority of readers in general, are not particularly interested in poetry, but I have never realized until this April’s book fair, how unpopular and unwanted poetry is. A friend and I were browsing some shelves and she found and took out Yesenin, intending to ask how much it cost. “It’s poetry!!”, the lady behind the counter was disturbingly quick to warn us. Needless to say, we were stunned and she was very surprised that somebody is actually looking forward to buying a collection of poems.

Nevertheless, although I don’t search for them, I sometimes stumble upon nicely polished verses such as these of Nocturne With Cows.

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6 thoughts on “Caution! Poetry ↓

  1. It is a strange phenomenon that poetry is so under read especially with some breath taking poems out there on all subjects…what tends to put me off is the price…for such thin books they do seem to ask a lot for them.

    Still I only have one on my TBR pile, Rilke’s Duino Elergies. I am intrigued that there is a culture of warning about poetry…I hope that it is just a one off.

    1. Who’s to know.. Maybe they feel lower prices would be misinterpreted as suggesting poetry is worth less than a novel, for instance..
      I just stumbled upon (I stumble a lot, it seems) this on a certain book blog: “We try to read a really wide variety of books including occasional non-fiction. Nothing scares us except pure poetry!”
      It seems that the main reason why readers keep themselves away from poetry is its complexity and demandingness. Which is a sad thing..

      1. That is strange, poetry is interpreted differently by each individual so really you take out of it what you personally see. Nothing complex about that…half the fun is the social aspect of it, discussing what other people see and seeing your view of a poem changing and evolving…it’s quite intoxicating.

        ‘Maybe they feel lower prices would be misinterpreted as suggesting poetry is worth less than a novel’ I like that, never considered it quite like that before. I like the way you think.

      2. I somehow tend to suppose everybody is inevitably feeling the urge to read poetry as a college professor (even if I myself am not engaged in such readings most of the time) – that’s why I labeled it complex.. Yes, you are right, discussing verses can be very enriching, indeed. And very personal..
        I like the way I think too (for the most part). I have borrowed some of your narcissism!

  2. I admit to having just started reading and truly appreciating poetry last year. I often think people are fearful of not understanding it when you just have to read and feel more than anything else. I was hesitant because I thought it was too sentimental… yes, in retrospect I now cringe. It’s beautiful and moving!

    1. You will agree, it is never too late to start, to gain victory in battle over our own silly prejudgments.. I will definitely try to do my best to engage in reading poetry more often from now on.

      ..And to check out your blog since I am in love with English classics.

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