Who Reads Poetry?

The question is part of a Newsletter sent out by a poet whose words I read regularly.

Who reads poetry? Why? How do they find it? What is it about the poetry that appeals?

Poetry is a field of words I don’t work in much. I read it. Some of it is inspired. I like reading those words. Some of it inspires.

I work with the words that inspire me. That’s what draws me in — what I can do with how those words make me feel so I can make my own story, how I can build something using those tightly-woven hidden meanings from depths created (and clarified) by so few words.

That’s how I see poetry. That’s why I read poetry. I read to be inspired. These are the words that keep me moving, seeking, searching, digging, smiling, questioning.

Poetry is a form of words I don’t write, though.

Why not?

I can’t do the form of words that would inspire me to go deeper. I have too much to say, and I need more words. I am not clear-cut, not a word-weaponiser, but a wielder of words.

I leave the passion of poetry to the true poets, and I use the way they see meaning in the world. I present that interpretation to the watchers as something more than mere words, because that’s what the words made me feel.

Reading a few words of a poet was how Herja, Devastation came about.

It is how life came from words.

I read one of Frank Prem’s poems. Free-verse, about a man who doubted his purpose in life. It wasn’t stated as flat as that, but that was how I felt the meaning behind the words.

It inspired me. I asked if I could use it. At the time, I had no idea how I would use it, if at all (there’s another one, about a long-drop dunny; still thinking about how to put that into a story — watch this space!).

From that interaction came a longer discussion about how words did things to the people who read them, how we each had a theme-based cache of poetry and stories that could meld together, based on the concept of the initial piece.

We made something. Put the pieces together.

It’s different. And to me, it’s compelling. The words I first saw compelled me to feel something deeper.

I felt the connection between those words and me and the world around me, the people and their paths in life.

And that connection grew into a tapestry. The tapestry became a new story, a sharing of words to a wider audience.

The question: What do I like about poetry?

In short, I like how I can steal the emotional context.

Oh? That doesn’t make sense, you think. Let me share my tag-line with you: Fibber, Fabricator, Teller-of-Tall-Tales. I am not all people, but what I know of life can be part of my experience, part of yours. I’ll just pretend it’s all mine, and speak it from my perspective.

Stories are a collaboration of teller and experiencer. A joining of minds by words.

That’s where the whole story of Herja came from – a collaboration of contextual moments joined by how words created a feeling of something different and powerful.

And we have some reviews now – Goodreads and Twitter – have you seen them? I think there’s one on BookBub, too, but I can’t figure out how to read it! Please tell me how I can read it.

15 thoughts on “Who Reads Poetry?

  1. I used to feel the same when reading poetry. I wondered how people can pack so much emotion and meaning into a few lines. I like to give so much detail, and yet I hesitate to do it on WP, because I feel that people’s time is limited.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Who reads poetry? I remember as a kid liking rhyming poetry. In high school, I was unimpressed by poetry while the teacher talked about metaphors and such. I got A’s in the class but my love was Sci Fi and Fantasy novels. Then as an adult, I rediscovered poetry and I fell in love with it. The metaphors had more meaning as I know had more life experiences to bring some depth into my reading. I learned to read aloud which made a huge difference in the experiencing of cadence within a structure. Because of that, I feel like poetry is something you can grow into, meaning can be read into words that don’t spell pre-defined meanings out for you in the way that prose often does. While imagination plays it’s part, as does education, it is also a medium that experiences can alter. Of course, when I became a poet and found other poets blogging, that changed things up too as I found a community of poets hanging out between the wires. You spoke of “stealing” the emotional context to use as inspiration for a story but since you bring your own emotional context into how you read the poem, a poem is a collaboration between the reader and the poet with unexpected tangents more often than not. This inspiration/collaboration/sharing is what happens when we hang out here.

    Liked by 2 people

    • It’s something I can admire, but can’t do … oh, I can string a few words together, but the way some can put meaning behind very few words, and those words will bring me to tears, or humility, or tension … that’s magic.

      Liked by 2 people

  3. Every form of art have particular significance is one’s life and I couldn’t figure out how some people like the things but not others.
    Well, I can’t judge, like art people are confusing too. And like art, I just respect them.

    Your views are really relatable though.
    I would like to read more.

    Liked by 2 people

Comments are closed.