An Appreciation for Poetry, or, Something I Didn’t Have A Year Ago

In my first English course of my first semester of my first year of university, we studied poetry for a few weeks. My lecturer asked if anyone read poetry and some lass went on about how she “reads poetry every night before bed by candlelight and while sipping a big glass of chlorophyll water.*” My eye-rolling was cut short when I realised that lots of people around me were nodding in agreement. Is this a thing? Do people actually read poetry for fun? Did I tell mom I wouldn’t be home for dinner that night because I was tutoring? All questions which ran through my head along with the thought that the only time I’d ever read poetry was for study purposes and, while I’d enjoyed Coleridge’s The Rime of the Ancient Mariner when we studied it in Year 11, I didn’t think I would be the type of person to actively seek out poetry to read in my spare time.

Fast forward a year later and I’ve changed my tune. It turns out that it took having to write some poetry as part of my portfolio for a Creative Writing course I did this semester for me to begin to appreciate poets. Because writing [good] poetry is really very hard. Like villanelles for example – beautiful to read, impossible to write. I’ve even bought a book of Neruda to, gasp, read before bed. It hasn’t happened yet because Mindy Kaling’s book, Nora Ephron’s essays, and Season 4 of Orange is the New Black have been occupying my time. But, now that I’ve finished two out of three of those (I can’t even with the last few episodes of OITNB), I’m hoping to add a bit of Neruda to my now seemingly endless spare-time that comes with the end of the semester and the ‘no uni until August’ thing that comes with going on exchange.

In the mean time, here are a few of my favourites at the moment:

Emily Dickenson
~ Emily Dickenson ~
Dylan Thomas
~ Dylan Thomas ~
Pablo Neruda
~ Pablo Neruda ~
Edgar Allen Poe
~ Edgar Allan Poe ~
~ William Shakespeare ~ 
{Also, if you have never looked up a translation into modern English of this you are missing out on possibly the most romantic poems ever.}
Langston Hughes
~ Langston Hughes ~
Billy Collins
~ Billy Collins ~
{Also Passengers }

*So she didn’t actually say the candlelight and chlorophyll thing. But my previous assumptions of ‘poetry before bed readers’ caused me to add this picture to her in my head. My time in lectures is 70% spent listening to the lecturer, 30% judging other people.

Love, Maeve4


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