1. First, drop the feeling that poetry is written by highbrow folks for an elite set of people. No, it is not written by and for scholars alone. It is for common people like you and me too. It might be profound but not always intellectual. Trust me, poetry will make sense if we allow it.
2. It’s all about taste. There are all kinds of poetry out there. There is no hierarchy in style. The delight you derive out of it is what defines it. Choose the variety that you most relate to and slowly start savouring it. It is like tasting wine for the first time. You won’t know if it is sweet, sour or bitter. Whatever, slowly you will fall in love with it.
3. Treat poetry gently, unhurriedly. Dwell on it, give it a few generous moments wholeheartedly. Own it, as if the thoughts were yours. The poem has left the poet’s domain. It’s yours now to relish.
4. Don’t read poetry like an office memo, dispassionately. Or like a Whatsapp joke, flippantly. Experience it. The essence of poetry isn’t in the lines. It is in your heart. Words are just that – WORDS. The meaning reflects inside you. Don’t let language intimidate you. We all have a decent vocabulary. It’s all you need to understand a poet’s sentiments.
5. Metaphors aren’t cryptic, coded things. They are drawn from everyday images, emotions and experiences. The trick is to not just see things, but to look deeper as if there is a secret waiting to be unravelled even in the mundane.
6. Read a poem, no matter how small or simple, how archaic or modern, before you hit the bed. There is no better way to roll off to sleep, except of course, with a good night kiss.
7. Try writing a poem with honesty, spilling sentiments that are brimming in a secluded moment, in words that occur spontaneously. You will realize that poetry isn’t the preserve of a select few. Just that some people are called poets. Some are not. But we are all inherently lyrical.