So for Mrs. Wold's seventh grade English class, we were required to memorize a poem and recite it in front of the class. Being 14, I was not much into this whole poetry thing, so I went to the counsel of my father for some help.

We talked about about poems, and he ended up suggesting two poems: "The Second Coming" by Yeats and "Dulce Et Decorum Est" by Wilfred Owen. Cool. Perfect. Two poems about war, death and destruction -- exactly what an adolescent Nirvana fan was looking for.

So I ultimately chose "Dulce Et", although I did end up memorizing both poems. The kid reciting before me, I believe, ended up choosing "The Road Not Taken" or something like that, so you can imagine the cognitive dissonance when I ended up reciting a poem about somebody getting gassed during World War I.

In any case, I credit that poem, and that excercise as well, as opening me up to the world of verse. It proved that poems didn't all have to be about love, flowers, and trees.