Why Some People Do Not Read Poetry

by W.S. Merwin

Because they already know that it means
stopping and without stopping they know that
beyond stopping it will mean listening
listening without hearing and maybe
then hearing without hearing and what would
they hear then what good would it be to them
like some small animal crossing the road
suddenly there but not seeming to move
at night and they are late and may be on
the wrong road over the mountain with all
the others asleep and not hitting it
that time as though forgetting it again

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.