I have always enjoyed poetry, but until last year only really read it when it was required in an academic setting. Then, I started reading it more for fun on my own when I started dating my boyfriend, because poetry is the only genre we can agree upon. He likes very high-brow literary fiction while I pretty much only read YA, so it’s hard to recommend books to each other that we actually like. We’ve checked out a couple poetry collections and read them together, and I enjoyed reigniting my interest in poetry so much that I’ve continued to find more poetry collections to read without him.
For today’s post, I’m going to be sharing some of the things I like in poetry, as well as other things that turn me off to it.
- Stream of consciousness style poems that seem like a jumble of words but are actually arranged prettily
- Short poems. I love short poetry because I like when writers fit so much emotion into a few tiny lines.
- Poetry accompanied by illustrations. This is one of the things I like about Rupi Kaur’s poetry collections. I like that her imagery is so stark and simple yet amplifies her poetry so much.
- Activist poetry. This is why I like Rupi Kaur and Amanda Lovelace. Activism, to me, isn’t just about world-wide issues, but about issues relating to the self, like self-love and self-care.
- Too preachy. Some of the poems in Kaur’s collections are really, REALLY beating you over the head with the message. Usually, when I feel like a poem is beating me over the head with its message, it’s something that maybe mainstream people might not know, but I know because I’m a feminist and also majored in women’s studies, so maybe for some people the really overtly feminist-y poems are revolutionary. For me they just end up being boring and basic.
- Poems with really long lines and no breaks. I find it harder to find rhythm or something to hold onto when a poem is really long and the lines are really long and there are no stanzas. I look at it and my brain immediately freaks out for some reason.
- Rhyming poetry. This is why I didn’t like Lang Leav’s poetry. It read as really juvenile to me. I also read Pillow Thoughts by Courtney Peppernell recently, and even some of her prose poems rhymed and it just made me roll my eyes.
- Love poems. Okay, so this only happens when it’s a bunch of love poems right after the other in one collection, like in Pillow Thoughts. After a while I’m like, okay, you’re heartbroken or whatever; just get over it and write about something more interesting that hasn’t been done a million times.