So many people have the wrong idea about poetry. It is not for the faint of heart. If, when you think of poems, you imagine flowers and sweetness and love, you are only getting a very tiny part of the experience. Poems can certainly make you feel all mushy, and lovely and beautiful, that's true. They can also tear your heart out of your chest and leave it to wither on the floor, or leave you with an ache so deep it lingers for days.
Though I love words in every form, there is something very special about poetry. There is an exquisite sense of timing and structure. The weight of each word is immense. A poem is like a tiny piece of a life left exposed and vulnerable.
Or it's just plain fun with a gum-chewing sort of cadence. Whatever.
Don't think you have time for poetry? Oh, come on. No matter what's happening to you right now, there's a poem for it.
Too busy watching TV? There's a poem about that.
Lose your head? There's a poem about that too.
House on fire?
Trying to get rid of the kids? Or rats? Or both?
Tormented by a demon bird. You know there's a poem about that (read brilliantly by Christopher Walken)
And of course there are love poems. Too many to count. But there are also poems about that other side of love.
Falling in love with the wrong person. (read here by John Hurt)
Trying to get your girlfriend to put out.
Whatever your situation, there's a poem for it.
My dad got me hooked on poetry when I was very young, and now I'm trying to do the same with my kids. Shel Silverstein and Roald Dahl have been a wonderful help there. When I was a kid, the school library had a book called "Scary Poems for Rotten Kids". Now that was my kind of poetry. I've scoured second hand book shops everywhere looking for a copy. So far no luck.
I've mentioned before our new favourite app, If Poems, which has my youngest listening to Helena Bonham Carter recite on a daily basis. Bill Nighy reads as well. And you can hear Tom Hiddleston read the above linked poem "To His Coy Mistress" (I can hear the fan girls from here...)
I also have the pleasure of knowing a few extremely talented poets.
Linda Simoni Wastila
Angel Zapata (especially if you like it dark and twisted)
Visit them and get your habit kick started.