So, just to rid anyone who might happen upon this and think that I sound intellectual . . .
Lately in my life, a lot of little conversations/arguments about poetry have come up. I don’t generally enjoy poetry. I find it either fluttery and fluffy or totally inscrutable. Granted, I have a soft spot in my heart right now for Emily Dickinson:
Pass to thy Rendezvous of Light
Pangless except for us –
Who slowly ford the Mystery
Which thou hast leaped across!
But even she passes into inscrutability occasionally. Consider for example, that poem about dying and a fly buzzing. My friend Mr. O’Leary (whom I remind occasionally that he has a good 40+ year head start on my ruminations) claims, as my lit professor would, that poetry is what moves the world. Unfortunately, I have a hard time respecting any form of writing whose main rule appears to be that rules are made to be broken.
Perhaps that doesn’t make enough sense though. Please understand that a good portion of my mixed feelings about this genre has to do with the fact that translation of the aforesaid. Breaking the rules doesn’t seem so drastic when viewed in English, but now add the torture of already having confusion about the verbal form . . . and the poetry is not only confusing, but also totally nonsensical.
So the other day, Ben and Prof R. (my advisor) and I were at lunch, and Ben started spouting nonsense about poetry. We were teasing him, and I misquoted Twelfth Night and told him that Shakespeare called poetry the food of love. We bounced that idea back and forth for a while, and then Ben made his own statement on poetry. “Poetry is the appetizer of love.” Erm . . . not in my world.