top of page

Poetry for People Who Hate Poetry

Poetry is not for everyone. I get that. I like poetry, especially the unusual ones and the ones that dance on the dark side of things, but even I have the urge to burn a poem every now and then. Especially when having to analyze the hell out of it for a college course. WE GET IT! HE WAS CALLING OUT THE INDUSTRIAL REVOLUTION FOR SUCKING! AND MAYBE HE JUST USED THAT WORDING BECAUSE IT RHYMED MR. DR. PROFESSOR SO-AND-SO!

Anyway, a lot of people hate poetry and I understand why. But what if I told you there is poetry out there even the haters will like? There is. I know this because people in my family hate poetry and even they conceded these poetry books were fun.

The first is an obvious one I think. Shel Silverstein has rocked the poetry scene for a long time. His books are often found in the children's section of most book stores, but even adults can enjoy them. My personal favorite of his books is A Light in the Attic. It's got strange and fun rhymes and a tad macabre. Looking at you "Skin Stealer." I mean: "This evening I unzipped my skin / And carefully unscrewed my head..." Who doesn't want to finish reading a poem that starts like that?! When read out loud, even my family members went, "Well keep reading..."

Another fun one for poetry haters, is The Melancholy Death of Oyster Boy & Other Stories, by Tim Burton. Yes, that Tim Burton. The fact his name is on this book indicates whatever is inside will be something unusual, and dark and colorful at the same time. And that would be correct. These are fun simple poems that make you laugh and feel horrible for the characters at the same time. All of them are accompanied by illustrations that give a lovely visual of the weird and fun. You can read about the lives, and the death of some, of Oyster Boy, Robot Boy, Stain Boy, and Voodoo Girl along with others.

One more for the road. I'm throwing it in there because it was interesting and I enjoyed it. Something in the Potato Room by Heather Cousins. This poem is about death and resurrection. The protagonist, who hates her job, finds something, *coughs* a dead body *coughs* in the potato room in her new house. Rather than call authorities, she becomes fascinated with it and the story follows her as she maneuvers her newfound hobby and friend. The way the author describes the inner machinations of the protagonist's point of view is on the surreal side. I'm sure this is one of those poems that could be analyzed further than I'm going to right now, but at least it would be an interesting analysis. This is a narrative poem, so it reads more like a short story and less like an iambic pentameter sonnet. So those who hate rhyme schemes may find this one fun.

bottom of page