I was given a book poems for Christmas, 100 Poems That Matter. It’s a lovely book, made even more special because it was a gift from a dear friend, one who happens to like my poetry; someone who hoped I enjoyed reading poetry as much as I do writing it. As I read the introduction, I kept wishing I could share it with everyone I know who says they don’t “get poetry” or plain just don’t like it. Copyright issues, of course, keep me from doing that. But I kept thinking, yes, yes, yes! That’s the perfection explanation of what poetry is and how we all like poetry, even those who think they’d don’t.

One of the nice things about a book of poetry is that you can pick it up at any point and not worry about having a lot of time to read. Sometimes, if you’re lucky, you happen upon a poem that speaks to your heart, something unexpected, something that makes you think in ways you hadn’t before. You don’t have to “get“ anything in particular from a poem. In fact I can tell you poets love it when you bring something totally new to something they’ve written. In other words, what your high school English teacher told you the poet meant may be right or it may be something totally different. The poet may have written a simple poem about an empty vase on a shelf that someone gave more meaning to than was the original intent. That’s fine for them, but it’s perfectly fine for you to just see the vase and feel whatever you do when you read it.

So this poem is dedicated to all the people who say they don’t get poetry or just don’t like it, in hope that it might inspire them to give it another try.

I Know You Don't Like Poetry

I know you don't like poetry.
I really wish that you did,
just a bit, if not become a devotee.
I know you don't like poetry
but could you pretend for me?
You might fall in love! How splendid!
I know you don't like poetry.
I really wish that you did.

~Elise Skidmore ©2024

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  1. Oh Elise, I’m so glad you like that poetry book. I read the introduction also and it’s true how some shy away from poetry thinking it’s complicated and hard to understand. Some yes but not all. I love your poetry because it’s down to earth and easily understood and always interesting and I think you’re so talented. Keep on writing my friend. 🫶☺️