I'm not much of a fan. Oh, I like Aussie YA poets like Steven Herrick, alicia sometimes and Adam Ford. Sharon Creech's Love that Dog is one of my all-time-favourite books. I like e.e. cummings and Lewis Carroll and Walt Whitman and that guy who wrote the poem about eating all the plums. I can even recite all of The Lady of Shalott, and know that it's 'clothe the wold and meet the sky', not 'clothe the world and meet the sky'.
But I don't really like poetry. Mostly because of the way it's abused. In fact, the only way I would ever read a book about poetry, is if I found an audiobook about it read by Stephen Fry. Which I did, and so I am.
Fry points out the problem with poetry, using another highly-structured art form as an example. Music, he says, (and I paraphrase because I was on the train and couldn't write it down) may provoke an intense emotional response in the listener. But an intense emotional response is not enough to make music.
You don't come home from a crappy day when your boyfriend got runover and your cat ran off with a supermodel and think - I'm going to write an emo symphony about how nobody ever really loved me. You need to have some sort of learned skill that involves reading music or playing chords on a guitar or knowing what a 3/4 time signature is.
So it's not that all poetry is crap. It's that most poetry is crap. Your average amateur poet thinks that because poetry is constructed out of language, and language is something they have a grasp on - they can do it. Most of the time they are wrong.
This is the same kind of logic that made Heather Mills say that she thinks she'd be good at writing children's books because she has a daughter.
In other news, I'm planning a new career as an entymologist, because there are moths in my pantry so clearly I'd kick arse.