I read “some” poetry growing up, not as much I suppose as I would have liked. Wide swath of poets from TS Eliot to Walt Whitman. I actually first heard of a number of poets listening to Dylan and Van Morrison; their lyrics are littered with references to their favorites.
Why read poetry? I’ll let one of the many alter egos of Robin Williams (as John Keating in Dead Poet’s Society) take it from here:
“We don’t read and write poetry because it’s cute. We read and write poetry because we are members of the human race. And the human race is filled with passion. And medicine, law, business, engineering, these are noble pursuits and necessary to sustain life. But poetry, beauty, romance, love, these are what we stay alive for. To quote from Whitman, “O me! O life!… of the questions of these recurring; of the endless trains of the faithless… of cities filled with the foolish; what good amid these, O me, O life?” Answer. That you are here – that life exists, and identity; that the powerful play goes on and you may contribute a verse. That the powerful play goes on and you may contribute a verse. What will your verse be?”
Wow. I need to go find me some Rumi. Or make some art.