Practical Theory - The Origin
The Scholars in CyberEnglish
ToDaY's MeNu - Ted

Monday, April 7, 2008

Apparently, Not Everyone Loves Poetry.

Or do they just say this? What I am finding is that there is a lot of poetry about not liking poetry. This confuses me. If the writer doesn't like poetry, why use the poetic form? Why not use prose?

" I too, dislike it: there are things that are important beyond all this fiddle." writes Marianne Moore in her poem, Poetry. There is yarrow12 posting a poem, "I Don't Like Poems" on IMEEM because it is an assignment. S/he really does like poetry is the disclaimer after the poem. The comments section has her saying poetry sucks. Peer pressure, haha. I found an online community of people who talk about Not Actually Liking Poetry. There is the occasional confession of liking "funny" poetry. I even found an article on the topic from 1934 issue of English Journal, "But I don't Like Poetry." Even Robert Pinsky had an article on the topic in Slate in 2005.

Here is a little ditty written by another teacher:

Written with high school kids ["Do we have to do poetry?"] in mind.

HOW TO NOT LIKE POETRY
-- Jan D. Hodge

The game is played on a field
some 50 yards wide, 120 yards long
(including two end zones of 10 yards each),
marked off in 10 yard segments.

It's called a gridiron
because it looks like one.
You've never seen a gridiron?
That's okay, just take my word for it.

There are eleven men on a team
that can line up in different formations.
Don't worry about that.

The ball is sort of round with pointed ends
and can take funny bounces.
Coaches like talking about funny bounces;
they seem to explain a lot.

Since you don't have a ball
to throw or kick
to see the funny ways it bounces,
you'll have to take my word for it.

The object is to get the ball across
the goal line. The other guys
don't want you to, and try to stop you.
Bodies run into bodies--hard--
and sometimes they get hurt.

Since you aren't playing,
you'll just have to imagine that
or take my word for it.

Imagine too the cheers--
thousands of people standing on their feet
when someone takes the ball across the goal.

You don't really have to pay attention.
If something happens,
you'll see it again and again
and again,
and again from a different angle.

But whatever you do,
don't read this poem again.
Don't feel its rhythm, hear its sound,
don't work until you get it.
Just take my word for it.

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