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10 Reasons You Hate Poetry

10 Reasons You Hate Poetry

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Published by Maria Alexander
An essay written for the April 2012 Horror Writers Association Newsletter.
An essay written for the April 2012 Horror Writers Association Newsletter.

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Published by: Maria Alexander on Apr 06, 2012
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial

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08/23/2012

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10
 
Reasons
 
You
HATE
Poetry
By Maria Alexander
Author of
 
First published inThe Horror Writers Association NewsletterApril 1, 2012
 
 
2
10 Reasons You HATE Poetry
 
So, I wrote a collection of poems that was published backin 2011 by Burning Effigy Press. Since then, the collectionhas gotten some attention
 — 
including a Bram Stoker Awardnomination
 — 
 
and I’ve been interviewed a few times. I’ve
discovered in the course of these conversations that a fewthemes keep cropping up: namely, what keeps people fromreading poetry.
And here’s what I learned.
 
1. It intimidates you.
I’m no
t sure when poetry grew the stubble and fists ofJason Statham, but it intimidates a lot of people. Maybe
it’s all th
ose Shakespearean sonnets
 — 
 
if that’s what you
think of when someone mentions poetry, I
’m sorry
. Truly.
You’re afraid you won’t understand
it, so you avoid it. Iget it.I do.Have you tried a little Ambrose Bierce or even Neruda?I recommend avoiding the
hard stuff
and starting with
 
 
3 10 Reasons You HATE Poetry
gateway
poets. Because if you pick up any of those 17th-
century poets, you’re bound to hurt
your brain. Also?
They’re boring as all hell
. Why would anyone put themselvesthrough that kind of torture?
You ask, “But isn’t William
Blake, like, famous and stuff?
 
Sure, but he’s guaranteedto give you an intellectual concussion if you’re not
accustomed to the work of that era. Instead, pop the top onsome more poets with more modern sensibilities and relax.
Good poetry won’t wear you down.
It feeds your soul in away that nothing else does.
2. I
t doesn’t make sense.
 
Look at it this way. Some of you listen to some prettywacky musicians like Tori Amos, Kate Bush, The CocteauTwins, Lisa Gerard, or even foreign bands like Rammstein orthat crazy Jay-Pop chick with the big eyelashes. Or opera.You have no hope of ever understanding that lot, but youlisten to them all the same
. It’s because you
like thesound of the music, right? Think of poetry that way. Evenif
the overall concept doesn’t click, you’ll like the“music” of the words and images.
As T.S. Eliot once said
 — 
 
that’s
the dude who wrote the poems that inspired the

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