29 April 2005
I went to my first poetry reading over twenty years ago. The experience mystified me. You mean people come out just to listen to poets reading their own poems? I had no idea such events occurred. Poetry seemed like an impossibly esoteric enterprise that I would never understand. Didn't you have to study poems to "get" them? Wasn't it like learning a secret code? Not like reading a short story or a novel. People around me nodded approvingly at the end of each poem. I struggled to understand. What did that mean? Is there an instruction manual for this stuff?