I’m taking an online course on Modern and Contemporary American poetry. Being quite excited about the course, I’m eager to learn more about this part of the literature that always was bleak and daunting to me.
Poetry and I, a pull and push relationship. On the one side, I longed to read, understand and appreciate more poetry, and on the other side, there was resistance as poetry required close reading, thought and attention. The last time, I did close reading on poetry was in high school, mandatory, then, and not always interesting because of our limited focus on old poems. Back then, I appreciated good prose more than poetry and didn’t quite understand why poets didn’t express themselves more clear, and make me work hard to understand their message. No judging, please, that was my teenage me.
Fast forward two decades later. Ever since, I decided to take up writing more seriously, a new interest in poetry rose. I felt lucky when this course came along, fitting my wish. I like it that the group is diverse but it can also be daunting, since a lot of classmates have a literature background and are experienced poetry readers. It’s easy to fall into the comparison trap and doubting yourself. Not this time. I’m intent on enjoying the class, be open to stretch my horizon and learn new things.