Like most of us, I read poetry – a lot of poetry – in high school and college English classes primarily because it was assigned. I was much more interested in fiction (Dickens!) and noir mysteries (Dashiell Hammett!) than I was in Tennyson, Wordsworth, Coleridge, and the Elizabethans.
My attitude changed with T.S. Eliot and “The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock.” It was first published in 1915, and Poetry Magazine published it only as a favor to Ezra Pound. The editors were so uncomfortable with it that they placed it at the back of the issue. But it was our first great modernist poem, and it changed poetry forever. A high school senior, I read that poem, and I was mesmerized. I went to the local bookstore and bought a small paperback edition of Four Quartets (I still have it; it’s now more than 50 years old).
It was at work as a corporate speechwriter that I discovered the practical advantages of poetry.
To continue reading, please see my post todayat the ACFW Blog.
Photograph by Thought Catalog via Unsplash. Used with permission.
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