I was sitting at a table with my peers, about to eat my lunch when I realized how far America has fallen.
Perhaps that’s a bit dramatic, but let me explain. I was sitting there, minding my own business and being a fly on the wall, per usual, when one of them brought up the question of teaching poetry in school. Of course, everyone stated their opinion and I was appalled.
At a table of ten teenagers, only one (me!) thought poetry was important.
In fact, the rest of the nine said that poetry is stupid and has absolutely no reason to it.
Now, why does that bother me, besides the fact that I wrote a published a poetry book? Let me take you back just a little bit over 100 years ago to the year 1917. America had just joined WWI, and tons of men were being shipped over the sea to fight.
Do you know what those men did once they came back?
Many of them became poets. An Englishman became one of the best known Christian writers of that century, another created a world with it’s own language.
Why do I bring this up?
Poetry is a way of expression. Emily Dickenson wrote once “This is my letter to the world that never wrote me.” People don’t understand poetry because people don’t understand themselves and others anymore. They don’t understand the emotions that shimmer in the artist’s breasts, because instead we’ve been told that we’ll be given whatever we ask. We’ve been told to admire those who are tasked with feats of strength and valor instead of the artist who pens words that revolve around the mind that belongs to the athlete.
Poetry elevates the soul. Edgar Allen Poe wrote, “To elevate the soul, poetry is necessary.” There is something in poetry that is prestigious, and you have to reach above your comfort to find the elevation of the soul that is necessary for growth.
Poetry is a way to communicate with God. David himself wrote poems as prayers, and we have a whole history of humans who translated their prayers into poems that have become hymns today. Poetry is a communication with another realm, and ability to write things that you feel but can’t say in prose. It’s a minuet minute where you can bare your soul with the protection of not being taken 100% seriously.
Poetry is an art, it’s the art of communicating with the soul, and yet, this day and age we find the soul unimportant and the art as dead. There is no need to touch the soul with poetry, to take the time to read without noise, to hear without our ears, to see with nothing but ink and paper.
I have no good conclusion for this post, it’s more of a ramble from my soul. But what do you think about poetry? Is it dead or lost or is it thriving?