We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
Not many people read poems these days, unless they happen to also be song lyrics. Without the lyre, poetry must make its own music somehow. Furthermore, poetry is written to be heard, not read. Just as with Shakespeare's plays, the words on paper are dead and only voice can bring them to life.
(The reading of Milton's classic On Time on Dr. Merc's sim-gaming post here this morning is a perfect example.)
Here at Maggie's, we have always posted a Saturday Verse, with the general advice to read them out loud. One poem per week, like one masterpiece of art, is about all most people can or are willing to process. We might be tempted to read more poetry if they were Juvenal writing poems from the standpoint of a Roman switch-hitting prostitute servicing both his master and his master's wife to good and profitable effect. The wife first, one might hope.
I love the Saturday Verse!! My DH may not appreciate listening to me read it out loud, but - Oh well!! I recommend Helen Vendler's analysis of Shakespeare's Sonnets. Very thorough discussion on each of them.
I recently purchased (from Amazon used books) The New Oxford Book of Sixteenth Century Verse, which is a bit hard going, as the 16th C poetic language is even more difficult than 16th C prose. It can't be picked up and put it down easily, because the rythems of the language are so different from our own, so I'm trying to immerse myself in it for several hours at a time - to really FEEL the forms and conventions of 16th C English. Imagine my surprise to find a few poems that seemed familiar, especially the cadence. Upon some consideration, I dug out a CD that Sting had recorded - a volume of Elizabethan poems to music, (Songs from the Labyrinth), which included several poems from the above mentioned volume! Great fun!