Confession: For much of my early life, I hated poetry with the kind of passion most people reserve for serial killers, carpetbaggers, and haggis.
I hated everything about it: its forced rhymes, its subject matter (which always seemed to be either death or love or both); the hallowed tones and kid gloves with which my teachers seemed to treat it; the pretension of it all. I would have gladly destroyed the lot of it, if only to never have to hear another teacher gush about something that seemed so devoid of real life.
Here's a link to the sort of poem that used to make me want to poke myself in the eye with a dagger. Or six. I apologize if it's anyone's personal favorite...
When I was done with high school, not long after, I fell in love. With a man (whose name I now share) and with a poem he introduced me to. I remember seeing it as the first poem that made me think to myself, "Hmmm...maybe this poetry stuff is not all gag-inducing." I have posted it below in its entirety.
Charles Bukowski's "One for Old Snaggle-Tooth."