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poetry & the stories we tell ourselves

January 12, 2016

Do you read poetry? I don’t.  I read lots of other types of things, but poems aren’t on my list.  However last week I saw a tweet where the person said they were working on memorizing a poem.  The week before that I read a book in which the main character needed to learn and recite a poem for a class assignment.   I read past the reference to poetry in the novel without another thought.  However, the tweet got me thinking that maybe I should try reading poetry as one of my new things to do and try in 2016.

That was a week ago.  I haven’t read any poems since then.  Here are excuses.  I don’t know anyone who reads a lot of poetry and could recommend something I should start with.  I think that reading poetry isn’t like reading a book, you don’t just pick up the book of poems and read until the end (hence being able to add the book to a list of what I’ve read this year).  I think you need to read a poem (or maybe 2 if if the first one doesn’t resonate with you) and then pause and reflect and ponder.  Therefore in keeping with my untested philosophy/approach to reading poetry, I don’t think I can just grab a book of poems from the library on a 2 week loan, as it’s going to take me more than 2 weeks to read a book of poems.  That means I need to buy a book of poems or borrow a book of poems from someone else.  Which brings me full circle, I don’t know anyone who reads poetry and can make a recommendation or lead me a book.

I’m amazed by the way my mind (and likely yours) can work and the stories I can tell myself about why trying something new is going be challenging, the way I almost talk myself out of doing it.  In this case it’s a very innocuous thing like reading poetry, imagine how many “excuses” my mind would come up with if it were something I wasn’t even sure I wanted to do or something that was actually risky.

So I’m not going to give up on reading poetry quite yet.  I’m going to persevere and come up a solution to these excuses that I’ve told myself and use it a a learning experience on overcoming barriers.  That said, it might not hurt if in a few weeks someone asks me how it’s going, as I might need a push in the poetry reading direction.  And it should go without saying – if you have any recommendations or better yet a book of poems you can lend me, that would be fantastic!

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One Comment
  1. I have a few books of poetry on my shelves….the poets might be long dead and the poems not often read….

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