Please help: I don’t get poetry

For the past, I don’t know, eight years probably, I’ve returned on and off to poetry, trying to understand it or get something out of it or discover whatever it is that it’s supposed to do.

I feel like I should get it. I love words, playing with their meanings, playing with assonance and alliteration and other sorts of things. And poetry seems to be the king of all that, right?

But I still don’t get it.

Maybe I’ve just not experienced any good poetry (I’m not even sure what good poetry is), or at least not experienced any I really like.

I’ve been told that listening to poems is a great way to learn to appreciate the art form. Evidently spoken words emphasize parts of the poem that a novice wouldn’t notice otherwise. That, and spoken words generally carry far more emotion than written words.

Again, I’ve tried that.

Don’t get me wrong. I’ve heard and read a few poems that I like. But only a few. And I never appreciated them enough to keep coming back for more.

So, poetry lovers…

I need your input.

What are your suggestions for getting into poetry? Help a poor guy out, will you?

Specifically, if you know of any great, free videos online where someone breaks down different poems and explains why some work and others don’t… I think I’d like something like that. Maybe I just need to take a poetry class or something.

Where’s Khan Academy’s poetry edition? 🙂

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