Many people who love poetry first acquired that love in a childhood classroom, hearing Langston Hughes or Emily Dickinson for the first time, and those lines have stayed with them throughout their lives, whether or not they would consider themselves regular readers of poetry. Take a look at those poems again, and think about how they remain applicable to your life today, or just enjoy the sounds, images, and the memories they recall.

On the other hand, there are poems that kids love and then there are poems that kids are made to learn. Many lingering anxieties about poetry that adults experience have their roots in some long-ago classroom nightmare, perhaps reciting "The Road Not Taken" and freezing up before you got to the second road, or listening to endless repetitions as your classmates made their way through the opening of "The Song of Hiawatha."

America is a country of second acts, so today, why not brush the dust off these classics and give them a fresh read? (If the thought of "Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening" is still enough to give you hives, for example, don't let that sour all of Robert Frost for you. Try some of his longer narrative poems or some of his darker short work and you’ll see that Frost was not only for children, but a poet of immense range.)