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Why do people enjoy poetry? I am in middle school and doing a project about poems and part of it is why do people enjoy poetry. Please answer my question.

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Lori Steinbach eNotes educator | Certified Educator

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Poetry appeals to the same things as music appeals to--rhythm and imagery and emotion.  Poetry, like music, draws a picture of things or emotions to which we can relate.  Everyone has been sad or depressed or thrilled, and we can feel that again through poetry.  We like reminding ourselves of those great emotions through poetry.

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clamo88 eNotes educator | Certified Educator

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If I have read this correctly, you are asking us to respond to why we personally like (or dislike) poetry.  So I'll answer that question.

Personally, I dislike much of what people call poetry.  I find it contrived and artificial.  Anyone can write a few short phrases, make the last word in every two lines sound alike, and call it poetry.  That turns me off.

Much of the poetry that I do like is actually called epic poetry; something the other responses so far haven't really talked about.  Epic poetry is a longer story, told in verse, and I feel it can be put to music.  In fact, I like poetry that seems to want music behind it; perhaps because I am musician by nature.

When I read or hear poetry that has a rhythm that cries out for music behind it, I tend to like it.  There is a pace and there are visual elements that carry me to a different place and time.  Poetry that I like tends to be about a different world than the one I'm in.  I can close my eyes and see a story unfolding before my inner eyes.

Having said that, there are other types of poetry that I like.  Maya Angelou, for example, writes in a style that conveys a sense of strength and power that carries a rhythm I enjoy.  When Maya reads her own poetry, I always close my eyes and feel the rhythm behind it and feel the emotions she conveys.

I have studied a lot of poetry and even written some, but I tend to prefer prose for my reading and writing.  When poems break through my barriers and speak to my heart, I consider them good poetry.

Poetry is personal; liking or disliking poetry in general or specific poems is also personal.  At different times in life, some poetry may have more meaning for you.  You may find that some poems speak to you when you are upset or under stress.  Don't feel badly about that.  Enjoy what you like and don't let others make you feel that you should like something just because they like it or because it's considered great poetry.

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besure77 eNotes educator | Certified Educator

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Not all people like poetry, but for those that do (and there are many), I would say that it is because they can relate to it in some way. It is just like relating to a book or a song. There is some kind of personal meaning behind it.

Another reason that poems are very popular is because many people like the hidden meaning in poems. One person may interpret a poem in one way, while another person may interpret it in a completely different way.

Poems are also very pleasing to the ear. They can have rhyme and rhythm. They can be very beautiful. They can express many thoughts, feelings, and emotions all at the same time.

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coachingcorner eNotes educator | Certified Educator

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People respond to the simple truths expressed in beautiful or rhythmic language in poetry. People like to read it and say 'yes, that's how it is - that's how it is for me - that's how I see it too.' Poetry readers like to share, they like to share the common sentiments the poet is expressing, whether that is about the beauty and nobility of Nature with William Wordsworth or the horror and pity of war with Wilfred Owen. Other people like poetry because when it flows or rhymes, it is easy to remember important sentiments or re-kindle beautiful or inspiring images. Many people find that they are drawn to poetry by the desire to write poems themselves - often the best poets had access to reams of great poetry when they were young - as in Dylan Thomas.

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Ashley Kannan eNotes educator | Certified Educator

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There can be many approaches to developing this project.  I have included two links that could start this process.  The first is the link to an enotes forum where there are different talking points featured about the love of poetry and why people possess a penchant for it.  The second link is to a video exploring the same topic.  You can also find a strong web presence of blogs and other online mediums that express why poetry has such a following.  Using the web as part of this discussion might be fairly effective because there is much on the web that reflects individual and subjective passion and this is also the location of why people enjoy poetry.  This location of individual expression has a presence on the web as well in why people appreciate poetry.

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Doug Stuva eNotes educator | Certified Educator

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Since you're in middle school, I'll try to give an answer that fits your age group.  And I won't assume or pretend that everyone likes it.  I'll try to just answer why those teenagers that do like it, like it.

Some teenagers like to express themselves and their feelings.  Poetry is a direct way of doing that.  You can simply say what you feel and then consider it poetry.  Sure, you can express what you feel through a short story or a song or whatever, but those ways aren't usually as direct, and, besides that, they take more expertise.  Not everyone can write a short story that actually resembles a short story, and you have to know music to write a song.  So, some teenagers like poetry because they like to express themselves.  One type of poetry that is gaining popularity is slam poetry.  Teenagers not only get to express themselves in writing, but get to express themselves whey they perform the poem.  Slam poetry by teenagers tends to be very emotional.

That's one reason.  I hope this helps.

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brettd eNotes educator | Certified Educator

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If you are looking for reasons why people enjoy poetry, think of the things that make poetry different from other kinds of writing and publishing out there.  With poetry you can say more with less words, and you can convey some meanings that have no words at all.  That is, poetry is a language all its own.  With poetry, unlike with a novel or other kinds of writing, you can freeze one moment in time or one place or person or event, and describe nothing but that.  It allows us to slow down and enjoy an idea as opposed to having to write 500 words on a topic for English or history.

Poetry is one of the ways to reflect beauty in our own language, and express art with the arrangement of words.  Poetry can be crafted. Poetry has no rules.  It doesn't have to rhyme and you can write freestyle.  For example, how do you think hip hop artists starting writing songs?

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thewanderlust878 | Student

Many different types of people enjoy many different types of poetry. Some small children include poetry such as that of Dr. Seuss, and young adults might enjoy poems by Edgar Allan Poe, and so on. Poetry is something that most all love in some form or another.

I believe that people enjoy poetry because most are short, to the point, and get a message across. Many who believe they don't have time for stories or novels might enjoy poetry better because of this. I also believe that people enjoy poetry because it can be fun. The rhyming, the stanzas, etc, could be appealing to some and cause a liking towards them. 

Regardless, poetry is something that can be enjoyed by all ages and all walks of life. It is something that fuels inspiration and happiness since the first poem ever written. 

Hope this helps!

crystaltu001 | Student

Poems can express how and what a person is feeling at that point of time. Poems can also be enjoyed by a lot of people around the world. And also when reading poems you can sometimes relate to what the poem was talking about.

nusratfarah | Student

You can enjoy a poem by hearing it, or by understanding it, or doing both.

Understanding a poem does not necessarily make a poem enjoyable. You might simply like a poem when it sounds pleasant to your auditory sense. Mostly, those poems can attract you quickly which are rhythmic or lyrical. Poems containing a rhythmic pattern do conjure your ears. That is why poems which contain rhymings are attractive especially for the beginner's level.

Then, a good poem which contains an interesting underlying meaning can attract you if you are able to interpret it. Poems do not appeal for the rhythm and rhyme only, but can attract because of the implied meaning also.

In fact, sometimes wonderful recitation can make you fall in love with poems because it touches your senses deeply even if you can't relate yourself with the meaning. And sometimes, unconventionality in poetic style fascinates you.

So, singularity, rhythm and lyricism, intensity in subject-matter - all these make poetry pretty enjoyable.

wandai-wifey1 | Student



epollock | Student

One of the reasons why people enjoy poetry is due to its very nature: poetry has rhyme and a particular rhythm. This makes poetry more memorable, and accounts for so many different versions of the types of poems that can exist. Even authors like F Scott Fitzgerald, in his novel "The Great Gatsby" from page 43, uses poetic elements. There is poetry within his prose writing:

If personality is an unbroken series of successful gestures, then there was something gorgeous about him, some heightened sensitivity to the promises of life, as if he were related to one of those intricate machines that register earthquakes ten thousand miles away. (Fitzgerald, 43)

Notice the bold parts are actually in poetic iambic pentameter. Even Fitzgerald, as great a prose writer as there ever was, sometimes felt that a certain rhythm of language was necessary to convey a particular idea.

But, one is not superior to the other, one is not more expressive than the other; poetry and prose just have particular uses.

mkcapen1 | Student

One of the reasons that poetry appeals to so many people is because it is often  based on the writer's emotional response to something.  The other reason is that poetry appeals to people is that it invokes an emotional response from the reader.

A poem can tell a story, express a moment in time, share a thought, define an abstract, make a proposal, and express great joy or suffering.  It is seldom stagnant and tends to invite the reader to jump into the words in order to derive their own meaning.  A poem may express one thing to one person and have a whole different meaning for another person.