In our modern age, the art form of poetry has come to seem a little old fashioned to many people. Even highly educated individuals, once the people who primarily wrote and consumed poetry, may wonder if it is still relevant. Though it is not the dominant form of expression that it once was, poetry is still valuable in society today. Before you cut classroom book sets of poetry out of your school budget or skip going to the local poetry reading, consider these important contributions made by poetry.
Poetry Voices Thoughts
Poetry is one of the clearest and most direct ways for a writer to convey his or her thoughts or emotions. Though some poems do tell stories and develop characters, these are typically the domain of prose fiction. Poetry generally excels when it acts as a window into the writer’s mind, a way for him or her to clearly and concisely express emotions. Writing poetry puts people in touch with their inner life and helps them develop the skills necessary to talk about how they are feeling and process emotion.
Poetry Connects People
Writers all over the world use poetry to express their thoughts, address social issues, and deliver important messages to the people they care about. By reading the poetry of the world, people draw closed together and come to understand one another better. Unlike news stories and prose fiction that can be impersonal sometimes, poetry places the reader right in the shoes of the person writing the poem. It is a beautiful way to develop a deeper understanding of people who on the surface seem very different.
Poetry Expresses Beauty
Poetry is also the preferred method by many to talk about beauty. As an art form, it is deliberately pared down and spare, forcing the reader to concentrate in order to form a picture in his or her mind. A skilled poet can paint a picture of a beautiful scene with just a few words, each of which is designed to work with the reader to guide him or her along. Few non-visual art forms are as good at depicting beauty as poetry.
Poetry Reveals Reality
Poetry is useful for revealing emotions that are otherwise difficult to express in words. Part of the art of writing poetry is figuring out a way to use words to convey things that would otherwise be very difficult to say. Since everyone experiences feelings like this from time to time, poetry is useful in finding a way to say what everyone is feeling but that only a few poets have the talent to convey. It can be very helpful to know that someone else feels the same way that you do, which is why reading poetry is comfort to many.
Poetry Depicts History
Poetry is one of the oldest art forms in the world, and it is often one of the only written records we have of ancient civilizations. Almost every society throughout history has written some form of poetry or another, so poetry serves as an important record for learning more about them.
Though poetry no longer occupies the exalted place in society that it once did, it still has a lot to teach us about ourselves and the world around us.