Not like poetry? One might as well say they don't like films, or music, or pictures, or stories. Of course not all examples of any artistic genre will appeal to everyone, and some works of art will have very few fans. But to reject a whole arena of expression, one containing Shakespeare, Angelou, Neruda, Silverstein, Poe, and Basho--that level of mind-closing suggests serious character issues.

Of course there are pretentious poets, one whose work makes little effort to communicate to anyone but people with advanced degrees in literature, or who seem to think no other human being ever felt as deeply as they do. Most poets don't like those poets, either.

But anyone who can't find a smile in reading Billy Collins or Robert Frost, or watching Taylor Mali perform, would have to be someone who simply doesn't like humanity.

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