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Three reasons to read poetry

Spring has arrived in this windswept corner of the UK. There’s a dusting of blossom in the park, the willow trees are coming into leaf and the birds are all aflutter. It is April – national poetry month! To celebrate, here are three reasons to read a poem today:

1. Poems are short. A novel is a hearty meal, but poems are the Belgian chocolates of the bookshelf. You can pick one and linger over it. Savour the aroma, the taste, the melting texture, the sweet craving it leaves behind! Or you can scoff down as many as you can eat. It’s up to you.

2. Poems are direct. A poem speaks to your heart. It arouses your senses. You don’t have to be clever to enjoy a good poem, just curious.

3. Poets are fearless. Or mad. Or both. They will reveal the secrets of their souls to anyone who will read their work. They will write about anything, delving into subjects that it’s not polite to talk about: like love, death, our relationship with the Divine…

These subjects are beautifully expressed in three poems that I’ve read this month:

He Wishes for the Cloths of Heaven by W.B. Yeats

End by the late Julia Darling, chosen as the final, posthumous entry on her blog

This is the song by Felix Dennis.

Three reasons and three poems. I could give you more, but you might ruin your appetite.

P.S. Did you eat just one or did you scoff the lot?

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