This blog, as you may have notices, is about poetry. We choose this topic because we feel that nowadays one of our favorite thing in the world is slowly perishing, and we cannot allow that. I believe that there are two main reasons why this is happening. The first one is because sometimes poetry isn´t accessible. What I mean by “not accessible” is that, first of all, people usually do not go to bookshops to buy poetry anthologies. They usually go looking for famous best-seller novels or books for educational proposes. Without books or previous recommendation it seems pretty impossible for anyone to end up reading poetry. And even if you have surpassed the obstacle of inaccessibility, there is always the reason number two: complexity. More often than not, poetry is not simple to understand. So at least you are reading a poem in a class where they are going to explain what it means afterwards, you are pretty much screwed.
However, it is important to know that both of this problems have solutions. And these solutions are incredibly useful for this poetry blog. For the accessibility problem the solution is online poem browsers. Sometimes even for me it is hard to find the poems that I want to post each week. But one of the browsers that almost never fails me is the Poetry Foundation. In this website, which is quite easy to use, you can look for poems from a certain school, a certain region, or the poets’ birthdates. The webpage also has videos so you can see interviews to poets or poems performances, and audio poems so you can hear them instead of reading them.
Another useful site might be poets.org. The variety of poems that this page offers is a little bit shorter than the variety of Poetry Foundation. Yet, this page has something that might be appealing for people that usually do not like poetry but feel like reading something according to their mood. In poets.org, you can look up poems in two categories: based on the theme or based on “the occasion” (for example, if you are looking up a poem because of an anniversary the page gives you a list of poems that you might like). The third category is “form”; you can also look for poems that are perfect examples of a specific literary form.
And addressing the complexity issue, I would recommend SparkNotes. This website allows you to browse poems and poets. When looking for a poem, this site displays the poet´s biography (which for the blog comes in really handy when we are looking for reliable information about authors) and an analysis of the text. The biography is really useful because you get to understand the context in which the poem was written. Moreover, the analysis of the text help you to know what certain metaphors mean, what certain words mean and basically what the author wanted to say. The only problem with SparkNotes is that they only provide material for English written poetry. However, there are other not so prestigious pages that might provide the same material for Spanish written poetry.
I hope that these sources are as useful for the readers of this blog as they are for me. I also hope that with these tools it will be easier for everyone to understand the meaning of a poem the next time we upload one. If that happens, the goal of this blog might have been reached: poetry will be closer to everyone.
(Image from The Narratologist)