School killed poetry for me. The only poem I grew to appreciate was – “The Road not Taken” by Robert Frost – much later in my life than I was originally introduced to the poem. That said, I never appreciated other poetry for a very long time. I blame schooling for this debacle because I have come to realize that poetry is the most beautiful expression there is. For what its worth, words are always lacking when it comes to expression and poetry is, perhaps, an earnest attempt to fill that gap.
The first poem that I thoroughly enjoyed (and spent a few days learning the meaning for) was “Rama Chakkani Seetha” which actually is the lyric for a brilliant song in the movie “Godavari”. This, incidentally, is also the first classical-sounding song that I couldn’t get out of my head for weeks. I used to sing along for the most part too 🙂
For a long time, I believed poetry stems out of an element of sadness. I guess I never liked Wordsworth or even Keats for that matter – who, I am told, wrote poems that aren’t necessarily sad in tone. I wasn’t attracted to English poetry as such either so most of my exposure to poems remain vernacular lyric rather than any other form of poetry. There are very few songs that I find as poetic as the one quoted above. So the whole experience was lost on me.
Recently, though, in one of the series that I was watching on Netflix – I began to see the poetry in a screenplay. They had presented a rather interesting interpretation of poetry – there was a verse which keeps repeating in the screenplay through one or two episodes. Each occurrence is marked by an on-screen event between the pivotal characters in the series. Each one distinct and captures a different emotion but every one of them apply in the exact same way to the verse being read-out. Interestingly, not all of them were sad. They weren’t extremes either – one sad and another happy – but they covered a spectrum of emotions including being relieved. That was the first time I enjoyed a poem and saw how you can actually appreciate multiple emotions from the same verse simply dependant on your perspective and experiences! It rang a bell – so much so that I have parked the series in that state and still relishing the screenplay! I am not sure if I want to finish the story – well, it probably doesn’t matter. I gained something more brilliant.
Frankly, I wish school taught us poetry appreciation. And I wish they taught us vernacular poetry appreciation. For words are never sufficient to express your thoughts or feelings. Poetry is your only hope. Or telepathy.