Why you should read poetry
Poetry. Even the word some is too elegant to seem masculine. When someone mentions poetry, imagination immediately draws languid freshmen with acne on my forehead, desperate to make another masterpiece. Or spiritually rich Virgo with the volumes of Mandelstam, who love to drink your stupid lattes and talk about «high» — and usually in such primitive categories that already turns and the head comes the idea that it would be better in the kitchen the soup was cooked. Poetry for teenagers, adolescents and women — a sort of antithesis of courage.
It was not always so. Poems, usually written and read by men — so it was for centuries, starting with ancient Greece: for all those of Homer, Archilochus, Hesiod, Pindar, and others had only one Sappho and the lesbian. Poetry was an art and entertainment.
In the past poetry was one of the primary elements of education any person. Today we teach poetry in schools, because… who knows why. We got used to the idea that poetry is not for men, because it is lyrical, emotional, and boys are taught from childhood to control emotions. Therefore, poetry is a hard finds his way to the men’s library. In addition, we have other, more acceptable ways to Express emotions.
Our society has changed probably in the last century, and the television seemed to occupy the place that formerly belonged to poetry. Our society no longer needed poets to fill your life with lyrics and entertain us. We have TV and movies and when we want to read, our services novels, short stories, magazines, Newspapers and entertainment websites. Poetry has no place in our world and so we forget about it. Maybe people of the past knew something we don’t know? Maybe they read poetry not only because they did not have a TV? Maybe poetry is not only ahs, sighs, flowers and rainbows? There are verses about war, about friendship, about nature, philosophical lyrics — all this is much richer than the usual ideas about poetry.
Why should I read it?
It so happened that the present is built on the basis of the past. The tradition of our daily lives are conducted from the past, even if we do not realize. Reading poetry, especially old poetry, can give us the key to the correct understanding of the world. Modern culture is not in vain called postmodern, one of its distinctive features is the ubiquitous quoting, ubiquitous links to past facts of culture, to understand that we just can’t do it unless we have a certain cultural baggage. I bet you don’t Bay a lot of different references even in popular films, because I read enough poetry.
Reading poetry allows you to see the connection between present and past and to get acquainted with the traditions that were our ancestors. For example, a reading of Pushkin can tell a lot about noble life of XIX century.
Poetry is a fascinating story; sometimes in the same poem of a hundred lines unfolds a fascinating story.
Sometimes poets create their own words that very accurately caught the essence of things, and it is also quite interesting. They can Express a large and even universal, it would seem ineffable, in a couple of lines.
But reading poetry is not only for entertainment or understanding of allusions. Joseph Brodsky said that poetry is the highest form of language, and reading poets, one begins better to understand the language. He even raised the question about the mass publication of poets on a par with the question of universal health care.
To read poetry is difficult and tedious. The language and structure different from our usual language, it is difficult to perceive the rhythm and rhyme. If the poem is long, it is sometimes difficult to understand, difficult to interpret images and constantly worried about whether you understand the author’s thought. But if you don’t rush and give yourself time to ponder read the verse, you will quickly and significantly grow. Reading poetry requires an inflated brain.
Where to start
In any case it is not necessary to turn poetry reading into a boring duty and routine. Can read one poem a day or a week. Make the poetry reading a small ritual. For example, it is possible to do on a Sunday morning: read the verse for their first Cup of coffee before starting to do other things. Read for fun or just to prove to myself that I can. If you like the process, then fine, but if not, no big deal: try to read another author. Even if this poem is all called one of the best, and you don’t like it, just move on. Do not torture yourself and convince yourself that «you don’t understand poetry, because this poem isn’t to your liking, although it is considered objectively good.» Poetry is an art. It can be judged subjectively, but still operate with a more sane argument than «boring».
Poets who are worth reading
To begin, turn to the classics, although reading it in the beginning, I would not recommend it. Why? When I call the names, you’ll understand. The epic of Gilgamesh, the Odyssey, the Iliad, the Aeneid, Paradise Lost is not a shame to read. But to start with such complex works does not make sense: you’re not addicted, you do not understand and cast. Start with something simpler, and then come back here.
Required reading: Homer, Shakespeare, Pushkin, Lermontov, Nekrasov, Blok, Mandelshtam, Esenin, Mayakovsky, Akhmatova, Tsvetaeva, drugaciji, Apollinaire, Baudelaire, Rimbaud.
Now optional: Kipling, Blake, Pope, frost, Auden, Cavafy, Kogan, Simon Prigov, Huberman, Tennison.
There are recommendations? Welcome to the comments.