During a movie I recently viewed, there was a line in the script that mused “The truth is like poetry, and most people f*****g hate poetry!”
The movie was about deception and questionable working practises in the finance sector, not poetry. However, witnessing the above soupcon of philosophy, made me ponder why poetry appeared not to engage readers in the same way as many other genres of literature.
After all, the ordinarily short pieces of writing are generally low maintenance time wise; unlike a 200 page book, which impinges on our busy existences in a far greater manner. Yet it doesn’t appear to be appreciated in the same manner as more mainstream fictional work.
You could read a poem within a tea break, a luxury not available with the aforementioned 200 page book. So with this apparent ease of consuming the content of a piece of prose, why does it seem less popular?
To be clear, I have no statistics to back up my musings, it’s merely a gut feeling from my time spent in book stores. A pastime that has now unfortunately been terminated after the serving of the restraining orders.
I’ve met hundreds of people over 50+ years in the three different area of England I’ve resided. However, I don’t think I’ve ever met anyone who has even admitted to reading a poetry book to completion.
Admittedly, the demographic market for poetry is, I imagine, not one that includes the groups of people I associate with…… Well, not unless you include inappropriate limericks in Viz magazine.
I’ve not read many poems or pretend to be well versed about the art, but of the few I’ve encountered some are probably my favourite pieces of literature. Poems like Kipling’s If or Coleridge’s Kubla Khan are examples of lexilogical crafting of the highest order.
I’m touching on the topic of poetry as, for the first time I can recall, I recently penned a work of prose, which I included in my one of my blogs. It was a tongue in cheek effort about the Roundhay Fox pub in winter.
I was quite pleased with it for a first attempt at a sonnet. One piece of feedback was “It’s like it’s been written by a proper writer!” A backhanded compliment of magnitude that made the time composing it well worthwhile.
“I don’t understand some of the words, but its well written!” was another example of a readers thoughts on my creation.
My wife on hearing my particularly eloquent reading of my poetic attempt, exclaimed “That’s similar to William Shakespeare’s style of writing.”….. I was flattered, although I’m not sure whether my spouse was alluding to being impressed with my prose, or whether she was accusing me of copying Francis Bacon’s penmanship.
For those who haven’t seen my inaugural poetic offering, below is the aforementioned composition of Wintertide at the Roundhay Fox:-
Parkland situ alehouse
Stout of porter and constitution
Thou comforting embers aglow
Warming soul and spirit from unwanted chill.
Wintertide sanctuary from Theoi Meteoroi
Sustain thy children until time of bell
Till adieus fall silent from thy ears
And the Peroni pipes cease.