English classes are home to some of the best of times or some of the worst of times and Dickens is usually just the beginning. After an introduction to the literary canon, a specific literary era or a genre through a really long PowerPoint presentation, students are either thrown into poetry or despise it throughout the semester. There’s more to poetry, particularly contemporary poetry, than a dread for esoteric language and hidden metaphors that don’t make sense or aren’t necessarily relevant anymore. There are so many interesting poems and amazing poets that don’t rely on the “rules” of poetry established by people from long ago.
“The Sun and Her Flowers” by Rupi Kaur
Rupi Kaur took the world by storm in the last few years with short poems that continue to make an impact on those who read them. She writes about the world through her eyes, but also a world that everyone has experienced in some way through words that cut to the chase without mincing or twisting their meaning. Kaur doesn’t title her works — like Emily Dickinson — and doesn’t bother with punctuation or capitalization when she doesn’t want to. Her books are great for people who can’t find the perfect way to describe how the world fits together or how they seem to fit inside it.