The Red Wheelbarrow
so much depends upon a red wheel barrow glazed with rain water beside the white chickens.
This is the only thing I remember reading in my college writing class. It’s also the first poem I actually liked. It’s ridiculous and short, but it makes me smile.
I’m told there is beauty in poetry – it’s the language of romance, after all – but I just don’t get it. Why read a poem, so often abstract and akin to a mind puzzle, when instead you could pick up a book and immerse yourself in Austen, Tolkien, or Lewis? It is a puzzlement. It demands something different from other types of writing. Whereas fiction usually takes you from point a to point b in a more or less direct way, poetry gets you to point b by way of a four-hour layover in Cleveland when your flight was from Denver to San Francisco. It baffles the mind.
Still, much like Shakespeare, it seems to be something I should give another chance. If anyone has any insights or suggestions on cultivating an appreciation of poems, please share below. In the meantime, I hope you’ll join me as this philistine stumbles her way through the poets.