Whether or not men like poetry seems to be a trivial question at first. And also highly dependent on the character of each individual. I want to point out right away that this is not meant to be a generalisation of things that are clearly a matter of personality. However, there are some key features that – generally, not always – tend to be very specific to one gender and we’re going to take a closer look at those concerning the interest in poetry.
Women love words. I know this is a cliché, but any woman who is honest to herself will admit, that communication via language is as important to her to create intimacy as nothing else. Talking makes women feel a strong bond to the person she’s talking to and through words she can express and experience herself.
Poetry is the art of adding up words in a way that they form emotions. So at first it would appear only natural that women are especially drawn to this form of art.
Men to not usually connect emotions as much with words as they do with actions. Yet, man of the greatest writers of poems in history were men.
So, how do we explain men’s interest in poetry even though it does not usually move them emotionally as much as it does women?
The answer to that may lie in another feature that distincts poetry from other forms of writing. Poetry is also highly loyal to structure. While poems are very much directed towards feelings, expressions and emotions they also follow – sometimes very strict – patterns. This is something that has a large appeal to the male brain.
Poems capture something in a structure that otherwise might even appear to be inexplicable or hard to capture in writing. The clarity of poetry allows for a deep understanding of situations, feelings or things that otherwise would be hard to grasp.
Considering this, I believe that men and women can enjoy poetry equally but for very different reasons.
While women admire the feelings poetry brings out in them and makes them feel, men like poems for the exact opposite reason: Because they capture and tame something that to them would otherwise feel like too much of a chaotic collection of sensations.
Poems trigger an experience for women while they offer a point of view that is a great starting point for analyses for men. Again, I’m not saying that both of those things can’t be experienced by both genders equally, but this is a general observation based on the average of what I’ve encountered.
So to sum up my argument and answer the question: Yes, men do enjoy poetry, but not for the same reasons as women do.