Walk into a seminar room and ask a normal-looking bunch of students whether they like poetry. Watch their reactions. Many people will screw up their faces as if they’d smelt something disgusting; a few will grimace awkwardly and waggle their hands in an awkward ‘maybe, maybe not’ gesture. After a few moments one or two brave individuals — three at the most — will raise a finger, looking round the room to make sure they’re not alone.
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