One really big reason I am drawn to poetry (and this is often especially true for the poets I most enjoy reading) is because I am a word geek. There, I’ve confessed it. I love learning new words and seeing how words add to the complexity of a poem under its surface.
My poet this week, Lorna Crozier, is a great example of a poet who indulges this interest. For example, between pages 3 and 5 alone of her book Apocrypha of Light are these three words: apocrypha, beatitude, and withers. Of course, I had to look them all up.
apocrypha: biblical or related writings not forming part of the accepted canon of Scripture; writings or reports not considered genuine.
beatitude: a state of utmost bliss; any of the declarations made in the Sermon on the Mount (Matthew 5:3–11) beginning in the Authorized Version “Blessed are”.
withers: the ridge between the shoulder blades of an animal, typically a quadruped.
Huh, who knew.
Another reason is I am drawn to poetry is because poetry fuels my imagination. Where else can you find sentences referring to snow “going from nowhere to nowhere light-footed on the smallest, coldest stars” (11) and to gophers and how they hear “what rain says underground” (13). The quote below the wasp drawing inspired the sketch. I really wanted to make the wasps silver but I haven’t found the box with my silver sharpe yet.
So basically, poetry allows me to seem cultured while all the while really just indulging my delight in flights of fancy.