Unlocking the Enchantment of Poetry
The story of how I became a lover of poetry
Before this year, if someone had asked me if I liked poetry, I would have probably shrugged and given them a non-committal, “It’s okay, I guess,” before moving on to a different topic. It wasn’t that I disliked poetry in any way; it was just that I hadn’t spent enough time reading poetry to truly form an opinion on it. I knew from my experiences studying poetry in English 2 that I enjoyed Robert Frost’s poetry, but that was based on reading a few of his most famous poems such as, “Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening”, “Nothing Gold Can Stay”, and my favorite of his, “The Road Not Taken.” Could I really say that I liked poetry based on such a narrow pool of works?
Finally, after borrowing the complete works of Robert Frost from the library and not being able to make a dent in the 607 page volume, I took the plunge and bought a copy of the book so I would be able to read it at my leisure. When I caught myself speed reading through the book instead of catching the lyrical quality of the verse, I realized I had been looking at poetry all wrong. The next time I read, I did so aloud, albeit in my bedroom with the door closed as I muttered the words to myself. I began to do this more often, sometimes sending myself to sleep as I softly read the soothing poetry.
I added a volume of the complete works of Edgar Allan Poe for my birthday, carrying it with me when I pet sat to read the eerie poem, “The Raven,” aloud in the empty house. Soon I was combing the local used book store for more titles to add to my rapidly growing collection. Now hardly a week goes by that I am not pulling down one of my poetry collections to read a poem or two, enchanted by the graceful dance of the words.
Two roads diverged in a yellow wood,
And sorry I could not travel both
And be one traveler, long I stood
And looked down one as far as I could
To where it bent in the undergrowth;
Then took the other, as just as fair,
And having perhaps the better claim,
Because it was grassy and wanted wear;
Though as for that the passing there
Had worn them really about the same,
And both that morning equally lay
In leaves no step had trodden black.
Oh, I kept the first for another day!
Yet knowing how way leads on to way,
I doubted if I should ever come back.
I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence:
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I–
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.