Today is Robert Frost’s 145th birthday.
Regarded as one of greatest poets of the 20th century and winner of numerous awards, honors and accolades; including a Congressional Gold Medal, 4 Pulitzer Prizes and 31(!) nominations for the Nobel Prize for Literature, Robert Frost is a towering figure in literature and was (and is) the face of American poetry for many people. And yet…
When was the last time you read some of his poetry? Any poetry really?
Uh-huh. I thought so. With few exceptions, most of us don’t really do poetry. Even though those devoted to it go on and on about how beautiful, how powerful it can be, how it can convey a message much deeper than you’d think at first glance, most of us are just not into it. For us, poetry is the road not taken.
Of course we aren’t going down that road. It’s weird, with all the flowery language, symbolism, strange imagery, rhythms and meters, verses and lines. Plus, a lot of it doesn’t even rhyme!
I’ve heard readers and non-readers have very similar discussions about books… and when a reader is told by a non-reader that they don’t like books because they are too slow or because they are hard to follow or they are too wordy, the reader normally responds with something along the lines of, “Well, you just haven’t found the right book yet.”
Maybe we, those of us that don’t do poetry, are right and poetry is just too weird or too much effort, or maybe we just haven’t found the right poet yet.
In honor of Mr. Frost, this evening or later this week when you have a moment, why not stop by the library and browse the poetry section (2nd floor, non-fiction, call number 811) and take the path most of us have been avoiding. It could make all the difference.