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Do people actually read poetry?

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    I write poetry so I read it too I think when I was little I loved rhymes and nursery rhymes, and as I got older that progressed and I started reading poetry and then writing poetry. I have a book that I love that was given to me as a gift, Best Loved Poems, and it's beautiful. One of my favourites is "She Walks In Beauty", I used to be able to recite it until revision pushed it out of my head :dry:
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    I love poetry but I read a lot more prose than I do poetry.
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    I have never seen a poem outside of a classroom in all of my 24 years.
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    I'm pensive so yes, I love reading poetry. When I was younger around year 3, I would take out poetry collections from the library :ahee:

    Negged? Really TSR? Really?
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    I do. I love poetry. I've had a book of it since I was a little kid that my Great Grandmother gave to me, it's got some fantastic poems in there and I've loved it ever since. And we did a brilliant one in Higher English as well, but I can never find the exact translation we studied on the internet, which is frustrating. But yes, of course people actually read poetry. Nothing better after you've read/watched something scary than picking up T.S Eliot's Book of Practical Cats. Which reminds me, I need to write up "If" by Rudyard Kipling and put it on my wall, it's a fairly good guide to life I'd say.

    If you can keep your head when all about you are losing theirs and blaming it on you...
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    I read poetry but I write it too. And I know people who even write poetry and don't read it.
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    I never used to read poetry voluntarily until my ex boyfriend introduced me to Allen Ginsberg and other jazz/beat poets. I've always respected poetry as an art form and I've also been writing poetry since I was a kid, and now I really enjoy reading it. It's especially great for bus and train journeys and a quick before-bed read from time to time, instead of a heavy novel.
    I especially love Emily Dickinson, Robert Browning, Kafka, Wilde, Roger McGough, Keats, Edgar Allan Poe and William Blake.
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    the GSCE anthology put me off.
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    I think only women and gay men read poetry regularly.
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    Yes! I adore it; I love all War Poetry and Lord Byron.
    Is anyone interested in reading Stalin's poetry?

    To the Moon by Soselo (Josef Stalin)

    Move tirelessly
    Do not hang your head
    Scatter the mist of the clouds
    The Lord's Providence is great.
    Gently smile at the earth
    Stretched out beneath you;
    Sing a lullaby to the glacier
    Strung down from the heavens.
    Know for certain that once
    Struck down to the ground, an oppressed man
    Strives again to reach the pure mountain,
    When exalted by hope.
    So, lovely moon, as before
    Glimmer through the clouds;
    Pleasantly in the azure vault
    Make your beams play.
    But I shall undo my vest
    And thrust out my chest to the moon,
    With outstretched arms, I shall revere
    The spreader of light upon the earth!

    Translated by Donald Rayfield

    Morning

    The pinkish bud has opened,
    Rushing to the pale-blue violet
    And, stirred by a light breeze,
    The lily of the valley has bent over the grass.

    The lark has sung in the dark blue,
    Flying higher than the clouds
    And the sweet-sounding nightingale
    Has sung a song to children from the bushes.

    Flower, oh my Georgia!
    Let peace reign in my native land!
    And may you, friends, make renowned
    Our Motherland by study!
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    (Original post by lettucesoap)
    I never used to read poetry voluntarily until my ex boyfriend introduced me to Allen Ginsberg and other jazz/beat poets. I've always respected poetry as an art form and I've also been writing poetry since I was a kid, and now I really enjoy reading it. It's especially great for bus and train journeys and a quick before-bed read from time to time, instead of a heavy novel.
    I especially love Emily Dickinson, Robert Browning, Kafka, Wilde, Roger McGough, Keats, Edgar Allan Poe and William Blake.
    You are a girl after my own heart!
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    (Original post by im so academic)
    I don't ever see people reading poetry - except in English lessons, if they're English students, or are writers/poets themselves.

    Is poetry just reserved for people who are, in some way or another, involved in academic English?

    It seems to me that paperback novels and non-fiction books in general are quite popular among the masses (especially with the Kindle and eBooks)... but poetry?

    Who reads poetry? It is reserved for English nerds? Or is it accessible to all?
    No.. It just exists for you to question it.
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    I don't really "read" it, I can't be bothered working it out... but I can appreciate a beautiful poem. I'd absolutely love to be able to write poetry.
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    I haven't read any in a while, but I found a really old book of Hardy poetry in a book sale and liked it a lot. I have an extract from Ulysses by Tennyson up on my pinboard and there's a poem by Auden called The Age of Anxiety that I love that I found through reading for pleasure, not for study.

    My sister read a lot of poetry when she was little. Lots of Michael Rosen.
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    (Original post by writergirl)
    No it is not just reserved for English nerds. Yes, I believe it is accessible to all....if you want to engage with it.

    "One demands two things of a poem. Firstly, it must be a well-made verbal object that does honor to the language in which it is written. Secondly, it must say something significant about a reality common to us all, but perceived from a unique perspective. What the poet says has never been said before, but, once he has said it, his readers recognize its validity for themselves." Auden.


    "To have great poets there must be great audiences too." Walt Whitman.

    The greats thrive on one thing; their readership. That can be whoever; man, woman, child, adult, whoever. What I love about poetry (on a personal level) is how you can pass collections of it down from generation to generation. I have poem collections my Grandfather read, and collections my Dad used whilst studying at Uni years ago. Whilst you can do the same with prose also, poetry seems reflective and significant.
    Is it interesting that you begin with a statement that avows the openness of poetry ('I believe it is accessible to all...') and then go on to block quote two turgid fragments from poets (I'll answer that for you: yes)? I mean, surely it says something about the state of poetical debate if your (and by your, I'm drawing a metonymy of people who believe poetry is worth being concerned about) first instinct was to pluck out these quotes to fling, or browbeat, or impress the OP into your point of view.

    Your 'personal' feelings about poetry are pretty, I'm sure, but not particularly useful for someone who doesn't have such a lineal heritage to draw upon. Although you do touch upon something in your final sentence when you write that poetry 'seems reflective and significant'--much more so than prose. The question is: can you substantiate that 'seems' and offer a compelling reason for why it is so.

    Finally, I normally wouldn't pick (up) on this but your example is particularly egregious: your grammar is atrocious for someone who has been accepted onto an MA English program. The first two sentences of your final paragraph misuse a semi-colon when it should be a colon (before 'their readership' and after 'can be whoever') twice, which suggests to me: (i) since repeated, it's not just a mistype: you genuinely don't know what you're doing; and (ii) since you use semi-colons (a rare mark of punctuation these days) you want to be perceived as someone who does know what s/he's doing.


    (Original post by Young Hot Stalin)
    Is anyone interested in reading Stalin's poetry?

    To the Moon by Soselo (Josef Stalin)

    ...
    Stalin fetishist?!
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    (Original post by Brevity)

    Stalin fetishist?!
    Just fascinated
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    I like poems that are totally fictional, like the sagas Vikings would recite to their families. However, I tend to be trepidatious around anything more poem than story

    Since studying English Literature, I have grown to find poetry a little pretentious. I take things literally, and struggle to link them to things which I wouldn't view as related. In my opinion, if an issue is really that important, it should be presented in a way that makes sense; the art of making an issue something that can only be discovered or understood through intense analysis of overly pompous and descriptively vajazzled text is something I would only normally attribute to someone with the personality of a toddler, flailing and shouting until your attention is captured, only to refuse to tell you what they want, or why they were getting your attention in the first place. [I'm going to pretend that that wasn't one hell of a sentence. That people can make a living off this tomfoolery is beyond me.]

    For example, I struggled massively with the poem 'Harmonium' by Simon Armitage, as it was supposed to be about the main character's father, or his life, or the main character's life, or all of these things, or none, or something.

    My analysis was that it was about a piano. Apparently, this was wrong, because despite the poem predominantly describing a piano, it is not actually about a piano. ...or something. I suppose I'll find out exactly how wrong I am about this poem on results day.

    This doesn't mean I hate all poems, though. My favourite is 'The Listeners', by Walter de la Mare. To me, that poem tells a story - albeit one scene in a story - and I intend to keep it that way. Any analysis of it, to me, would stop it from being a ghost story, and I really, really enjoy it in the context of a simple, creepy, ghost story.

    Do excuse the rant; I should probably release it in some sort of blog, rather than repeatedly preying on this poor forum :3
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    not really, but i appreciate and respect poetry.

    i found this ages ago and i think its one of the most beautiful things I've ever read. its a suicide poem written by a guy called misao fujimura (sp?). he basically committed suicide because the girl he fancied rejected him.


    Delicate line between heaven and earth…
    The calm of the ages,
    all the world’s worth.
    Such minuscule measure,
    while we think it so grand…
    Just five specks of smallness,
    This soft quiet land.
    So frail and so fleeting,
    in the end you will see
    Simple dreams were Horatio’s philosophy.

    For all the truth,
    all creation,
    all secrets of yore
    Can be told in an instant,
    by then they’re no more.

    Ah, The Unexplainable
    All worries unsettled,
    heartache unresolved…
    All questions unanswered,
    with death, shall be solved.

    We already teeter,
    this sheer cliff so high.
    When we fall to corruption,
    insecurities die.

    To end is to start;
    to surrender is to know.

    Despair and depression,
    together they grow.
    Hope shall meet hopeless
    when there’s nowhere to go.
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    (Original post by Brevity)
    Is it interesting that you begin with a statement that avows the openness of poetry ('I believe it is accessible to all...') and then go on to block quote two turgid fragments from poets (I'll answer that for you: yes)? I mean, surely it says something about the state of poetical debate if your (and by your, I'm drawing a metonymy of people who believe poetry is worth being concerned about) first instinct was to pluck out these quotes to fling, or browbeat, or impress the OP into your point of view.

    Your 'personal' feelings about poetry are pretty, I'm sure, but not particularly useful for someone who doesn't have such a lineal heritage to draw upon. Although you do touch upon something in your final sentence when you write that poetry 'seems reflective and significant'--much more so than prose. The question is: can you substantiate that 'seems' and offer a compelling reason for why it is so.

    Finally, I normally wouldn't pick (up) on this but your example is particularly egregious: your grammar is atrocious for someone who has been accepted onto an MA English program. The first two sentences of your final paragraph misuse a semi-colon when it should be a colon (before 'their readership' and after 'can be whoever') twice, which suggests to me: (i) since repeated, it's not just a mistype: you genuinely don't know what you're doing; and (ii) since you use semi-colons (a rare mark of punctuation these days) you want to be perceived as someone who does know what s/he's doing.




    Stalin fetishist?!
    I appreciate what you're saying, but all I can respond to that is that I've spent three years writing essays, I thought this was a student forum, so I'd rather not have to justify myself all over again about a comment I had posted half asleep, in two minutes. I also find it highly insulting and completely irrelevant of you to comment about my Masters programme next year. Sure, there may be a bit of repetition in my post and the odd grammatical mistake, but that does not necessarily reflect on my efforts at degree essays and the likes. I think you should stop being so patronising and condescending "Although you do touch upon something" just because hiding behind a computer screen enables you to do so.
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    My brother writes poetry, but It's really ****. And I have to sit there in absolute astonishment.

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