In short: Because it’s too hard.
The teenage son of a friend of mine was over the house the other day. Looking over the bookshelves in the living room, he said “I see you like poetry a lot.”
“Yes,” I said, “Do you?”
“No,” he replied. “I hate it.”
“Hate’s a strong word. Why do you hate it?”
He didn’t hesitate: “Because it’s hard and I don’t understand it.”
I hear this all the time about poetry. I hear it from my students. I hear it from friends. So I have a ready response:
“If you spend your life avoiding things that are hard and you don’t understand, you’ll never learn anything beyond the obvious.”
He looked at me thoughtfully and pulled one of the books off the shelf while I chatted with his dad.
The memory of this conversation came to mind as I was thinking out my response
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