I like poetry because I like language. I like the way that words sound, how they fit together and how they can be used to create images that baffle even as they impress. I like flowing, melodious poetry, and I like choppy discordant poetry. Exploration of themes which use the most precise words in the most succinct way, to make you feel, ‘Yes, that’s it – that’s exactly what that’s like’. Or, poetry ranging issues that I’ve never thought about before, never taken the time to consider – that make me think, ‘That’s what it’s like? To be there, to do that, to feel this?’.
The first poem I ever memorised was Robert Frost’s Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening. My Dad taught it to me – he’s a big poetry fan, and has about a hundred of his favourites tucked away in his head. He inspired my list item to memorise 30 poems, and about half of my most beloved poems I’ve learnt directly from him. I learnt Stopping by Woods when I was seven, and almost twenty years later have re-committed it to memory.
Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening