I developed a taste for poetry rather late in life, despite having read it extensively as part of the curriculum in university. What I mean is – for recreational reading I’d always gravitate towards prose and not poetry. I rediscovered poetry during my stint abroad. I remember reading Deborah Ager and Michael Burch as the sunlight outsight the Union City library streamed over the pages of the hardbound volume.
There is quite nothing like discovering an unknown poem and sharing it with others (who , like you, also enjoy poetry) and knowing that your faith in that piece of verbal wizardry was not misplaced; that even though salvation through words remains an illusion, they are our last defense against transience.
We often disdain what comes naturally to us, so it is with poetry or music. Our grandmothers didn't value the folks songs that were composed when they worked in the kitchen together or the lullabies they sang to their children and those of their neighbours. Those have been lost forever & the saddest thing is that those who composed them never knew their value. But others did & therefore those ancient tales and songs and poems remains alive even today.
So it is with poetry. You may dismiss it with a shrug for it comes easily to you, you may smile with disdain when you fail to gain anything from it. For you its meaning will remain forever obscure because it was never yours to begin with. You were merely the font it sprang from. Poetry always belonged to people like me and my friends who read it without seeking anything from it, who learnt to love it even when they didn’t quite comprehend it.