I might be no expert, but i have always believed that where literature is concerned, i am no ignorant fool. I am an avid reader and love prose. I know my Dickens from Twain, Dostoevsky from Tolstoy, Amitav Ghosh from Hari Kunzru and so on.
However, where poetry is concerned, my knowledge is extremely lacking. It's not like i can't appreciate poetry or the delicacy and subtlety of this form of literature from the more direct force which characterizes most of prose. It's just something i have never really paid much attention to. For some reason, i have always dismissed it as something for the more serious readers, and the academicians.
It is a notion i've always had since my middle school days. Prose meant something straight and direct, something more absorbing, something which spun a web of wonder around me, made me travel from one era or one place to another.
Poetry on the other hand, was something which always seemed more difficult to understand, something which first needed to be interpreted, and then enjoyed. Atleast at that age, and in that time.
As a result of all that, i never really did pay much attention to it.
However, now i wish i hadn't been so dismissive of it. Because the more poetry i read, the more wonderful it seems to me. And the more my earlier notion annoys me. I regret not having read more.
Hence, i have decided, i am going to read atleast one poem everyday. I am going to pick a particular poet, and read as much of his/her works as i can lay my hands on. And well, the first poet(ess) i have decided to pick, is Maya Angelou, mainly because i have read some of her works, and one of her poems, I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings, has always been a particular favorite.
Suggestions are welcome! :)