Wednesday, 28 October 2009

Is Poetry Only for Women?

Leafing through a magazine yesterday, I found a reader’s letter in which a guy said such an opinion.

According to this man, only women have sensibility enough to feel poems. My first reaction was think “such a silly idea!”

Thinking back on it I guess that the man’s problem is he hasn’t read poetry. Talking about poetry as if there is only one poetry is actually ridiculous and shows a lack of culture.

I would like to talk with that man and to ask him some questions.

First of all, how many poems have you read in your life?

Second, do you like music? What about the rock and roll music? Do you like this kind of music? Do you like their lyrics? Aren’t these lyrics poems?

When I am still a young man, I like an American music group called “The Doors”. Their lyrics were full of sex, love, death, … The singer of the group actually had a life as the romantic writers have.

As I was interested in this singer, called Jim Morrison, I picked some books up from the public library and learnt more on him. This way I found the connection between him and William Blake and Dylan Thomas. And reading poems written by those poets I arrived to Allen Ginsberg (and his amazing poem Howl!). After reading the Ginsberg poems I started with other poets and novelists of the Beat Generation.

On the other hand, somebody lent me the book “Poet in New York” by Federico García Lorca. This book was written in the twenties of the 20th century but it is still as strong as if it were written today and it sounds current and fresh. I know some famous music stars like Leonard Cohen are fond of this book. I know what is the reason for this.

In short there are poems for everyone and for every time. Maybe one day you read the following and don’t feel anything,… or maybe start to cry:

I saw the best minds of my generation destroyed by

madness, starving hysterical naked,

dragging themselves through the negro streets at dawn

looking for an angry fix,

angelheaded hipsters burning for the ancient heavenly

connection to the starry dynamo in the machinery of night



  1. I couldn't agree with you more. And not only has rock music been inspired by great poets but also hip hop music, which, in my opinion, has taken word play to a whole new level.

    The problem is that many people have certain types of poetry shoved down their throats during secondaria or high school and then develop a bad taste for it or think that it's all boring. Es una lastima.

  2. I think this is interesting topic that I never really thought about. I think that lyrics are the modern poetry, well at least for younger generations. A lot of times the younger kids can't understand the poetry of older generations, however music with good lyrics - they can understand and don;t even realize that that is pretty much poetry.

    And I think men have the capability think about the men from before who wrote poems, I just think now it's different and there are just other ways for men to entertain themselves maybe.