Poetry is a difficult genre that encompasses such a variety of styles. I haven’t had a lot of experience reading it, but since it was the genre for a book club I’m doing for the month of February, I figured it’s as good a time as any to try Maya Angelou.
I opted for a collection of poems and while I can see poetry isn’t a genre I’ll be reading a lot of, I did find that I enjoyed it. Many of Angelou’s poems focused on social issues and experiences of being a person of color. But there were many others that spoke of love, loss, and struggles.
Reading poetry is difficult, I find. It’s easiest for me to read when the cadence is marked easily by the rhyming of the words. Some of the poems were hard to read without lapsing into simply reading it like anything else. And while they were somewhat grouped together in themes, I definitely was trying to see if they followed one after another in any obvious way.
I’ve come to decide that poetry is firstly a method for a writer to express themselves for themselves. From there, it’s just a matter of what words speak to specific people. Certainly some poems are more universal in their impact, but I think also sometimes the most impactful are the quiet words that mean little to another person, but everything to one.
Overall, I like the idea of poetry, and wouldn’t be opposed to more of it, but it’s challenging to read sometimes, so I won’t swear off everything just yet.