Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Why You Should Give Poetry A Chance

If when you hear the word poetry you can associate it with anything else besides an agonized Shakespeare bent over with the stabbing pain caused by lover's woes, I applaud you.
















Poetry is the kind of activity not taken seriously. Enjoying poetry basically equates to playing Frisbee golf. You know its not the least bit funny, but the satanic side of you internally giggles. Poetry. 
















But alas, methinks thou dost form opinion most premature! 
Do you even poetry? If you're not even right now, fix it! Fight the cure of poetic apathy and spread around the message #evenpoetry


Some is Cliche



The Road Not Taken by Robert Frost


Two roads diverged in a yellow wood,
And sorry I could not travel both
And be one traveler, long I stood
And looked down one as far as I could
To where it bent in the undergrowth;


Then took the other, as just as fair,
And having perhaps the better claim,
Because it was grassy and wanted wear;
Though as for that the passing there
Had worn them really about the same,


And both that morning equally lay
In leaves no step had trodden black.
Oh, I kept the first for another day!
Yet knowing how way leads on to way,
I doubted if I should ever come back.


I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence:
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I—
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~


You've heard it in a graduation speech at some point, trust me. 












It's not a bad poem, but it's been beaten to death by (improper, might I add) overuse. And I mean, come on, two paths, the mighty protagonist most choose to decide their destiny with their brilliant powers of deduction? This isn't the Copernicus of poetry.




Some serve as a delightfully acidic comeback





Charity by Unknown

There is so much good in the worst of us, 

and so much bad in the best of us, 

that ill behooves any of us 

to find fault with the rest of us


I Shall not Care by Sarah Teasdale 


When I am dead and over me bright April
      Shakes out her rain-drenched hair,
Tho' you should lean above me broken-hearted,
      I shall not care.


I shall have peace, as leafy trees are peaceful
      When rain bends down the bough,
And I shall be more silent and cold-hearted
      Than you are now.


















Pure win right there. There's a reason why they call it a poetry slam. Next time someone insults you, throw some classic rhymes at them, that'll shut 'em right up.






Some just gives you tingly inspirational feelings



For Whom The Bell Tolls by John Donne


No man is an island,
Entire of itself.
Each is a piece of the continent,
A part of the main.
If a clod be washed away by the sea,
Europe is the less.
As well as if a promontory were.
As well as if a manner of thine own
Or of thine friend's were.
Each man's death diminishes me,
For I am involved in mankind.
Therefore, send not to know
For whom the bell tolls,
It tolls for thee.


The Charge Of The Light Brigade by Lord Alfred Tennyson 


Half a league, half a league,
Half a league onward,
All in the valley of Death
Rode the six hundred.
"Forward, the Light Brigade!
Charge for the guns!" he said:
Into the valley of Death
Rode the six hundred.

"Forward, the Light Brigade!"
Was there a man dismayed?
Not tho' the soldiers knew
Someone had blundered:
Theirs was not to make reply,
Theirs was not to reason why,
Theirs was but to do and die:
Into the valley of Death
Rode the six hundred.

Cannon to the right of them,
Cannon to the left of them,
Cannon in front of them
Volleyed and thunder'd;
Storm'd at with shot and shell,
Boldly they rode and well,
Into the jaws of Death,
Into the mouth of Hell,
Rode the six hundred.

Flashed all their sabres bare,
Flashed as they turned in air,
Sab'ring the gunners there,
Charging and army, while
All the world wondered:
Plunging in the battery smoke,
Right through the line they broke;
Cossack and Russian
Reeled from the sabre-stroke
Shattered and sundered.
Then they rode back, but not--
Not the six hundred.

Cannon to the right of them,
Cannon to the left of them,
Cannon in front of them
Volleyed and thundered;
Stormed at with shot and shell,
While horse and hero fell,
They that fought so well,
Came thro' the jaws of Death,
Back from the mouth of Hell,
All that was left of them,
Left of the six hundred.

When can their glory fade?
Oh, the wild charge they made!
All the world wondered.
Honor the charge they made!
Honor the Light Brigade,
Noble Six Hundred!


We never know how high we are by Emily Dickinson 

We never know how high we are
Till we are asked to rise
And then if we are true to plan
Our statures touch the skies --

The Heroism we recite
Would be a normal thing
Did not ourselves the Cubits warp
For fear to be a King –


Theme For English B by Langston Hughes


The instructor said,

Go home and write
a page tonight.
And let that page come out of you--
Then, it will be true.

I wonder if it's that simple?
I am twenty-two, colored, born in Winston-Salem.
I went to school there, then Durham, then here
to this college on the hill above Harlem.
I am the only colored student in my class.
The steps from the hill lead down into Harlem,
through a park, then I cross St. Nicholas,
Eighth Avenue, Seventh, and I come to the Y,
the Harlem Branch Y, where I take the elevator
up to my room, sit down, and write this page:

It's not easy to know what is true for you or me 
at twenty-two, my age. But I guess I'm what 
I feel and see and hear, Harlem, I hear you:
hear you, hear me--we two--you, me, talk on this page.
(I hear New York, too.) Me--who?
Well, I like to eat, sleep, drink, and be in love.
I like to work, read, learn, and understand life.
I like a pipe for a Christmas present,
or records--Bessie, bop, or Bach.
I guess being colored doesn't make me not like
the same things other folks like who are other races.
So will my page be colored that I write?

Being me, it will not be white. 
But it will be
a part of you, instructor. 
You are white-- 
yet a part of me, as I am a part of you. 
That's American.
Sometimes perhaps you don't want to be a part of me. 
Nor do I often want to be a part of you.
But we are, that's true! 
As I learn from you, 
I guess you learn from me-- 
although you're older--and white-- 
and somewhat more free.






So of course by now you should be practically salivating at this delicious concoction of words. Amirite? 


Oh so this is your first experience with poetry you say? You want more, you beg? I suggest reading "A Treasury of Poems" compiled by Sarah Stuart. Yes, I know it sounds like your grandma's favorite book, but it's actually for cool people like you too.