Poetry is an art of wonderment, in whatever way one chooses to approach it. It either leaves the person with a finger scratching her head in frustration, wondering why the poet is going on and on about a certain black shoe or a red tulip, or makes the lover of poetry shudder for she relates truly to the message behind and in between the intricately intertwined words. In conjunction with National Poetry Month, we have constructed a list of four reasons as to why the breathtaking art of poetry is beautiful and beneficial to everyone’s everyday lives.
- Poetry is an adventure
It might come to a surprise to some, but to read and appreciate poetry is to dive into a world of adventure and risk; one might never be the same again after having finished reading and understanding a poem. This is because poetry is an art form where the narrator writes about experiences that are mostly life changing, extraordinary or even traumatizing.
Take, for example, Sylvia Plath’s Tulips, where the narrator takes her readers on the experiences she went through as consequences of a wounding event. “Stupid pupil, it has to take everything in,” the narrator exclaims in Tulips. Readers will for sure sympathize, and along with the narrator, go on a thrilling ride throughout the reading of the poem.
- Readers can relate
There is a reason why poetry and writing in general has been proven to be beneficial to many; it serves as an outlet for the writer to immortalize his or her emotions in writing. Naturally, as human beings, our emotions and feelings tend to overlap with each other’s, regardless of time and place. That is one of the many beauties of poetry: Anyone from any part of the world will be able to relate to the emotive chains of words that have been put together by the poet.
Christina Rossetti’s A Birthday is just one of the many poems any reader can relate to. “Because the birthday of my life / Is come, my love is come to me,” the narrator croons, showcasing an obvious message of a heart bursting with love; a feeling every loving person can relate to.
- Poetry is a puzzle
Like Sudoku, jigsaw puzzles and mind-exercising games, the reading and analysis of poetry is a puzzle; it is a game of words. Reading through a poem once will most probably not give the reader a complete understanding of the message the poet is trying to convey, what with the seemingly random and unrelated choice of words used. Taking into account the poet’s utilisation of imagery, symbolism, meter and everything else, it is up to the reader to put two and two together and decipher the meaning behind the well-worded work of art, and the resulting understanding of a poem will definitely make the lover of poetry extremely satisfied! The best part is: There is no right or wrong answer!
- A Reason To Reflect
It comes to no surprise that poetry results in the readers’ reflection upon themselves, upon the current social and political climate and upon whatever theme the poet chooses to expound on in his or her poetry. This is why the art of immortalizing thoughts and opinions in the form of art is beautiful– It serves a purpose: For its readers to learn from the experiences these poets have went through, so mistakes would not be repeated. The reader will undoubtedly reflect upon his or her actions, the current social issues and the political climate and from there, as human beings, will try to learn from the lessons that the poets have taught to his or her readers.
Walt Whitman‘s narrator says, “I too Paumanok, / I too have bubbled up, floated the measureless float, and been wash’d on your shores,” in the poem As I Ebb’d With The Ocean of Life. The narrator clings onto his hometown in times when he feels as if the waves of life have brought him into a sense of loss of self and identity. It is clear in this poem that Whitman aims to show to his readers that one will never be without identity, no matter how lost one feels or how far one feels he have gone from a rooted sense of self– One will always be able to come back to his ‘hometown’, whatever and wherever it may be, and find himself once more.