In Defense of Poetry

So many people seem to possess this vivid and bitter distaste – even animosity – for poetry. Hearing how some talk about it, one might think it the root of all evil and wrong in the world. I’ve seen people shrink from the sound of its mention. The word “poetry” no longer elicits awe and curiosity; instead, it is the cause of a great many sighs and eye rolls. To be honest, I find it a bit sad and unfair that the indefensible poetry gets such hate these days. It’s not as though paleolithic stone art or classic portraiture are objects of such intense loathing, and yet terms like “sonnet” or “meter” are met with extreme hostility. Since when, and why, have we become so unappreciative of the gifts and abilities of verse? Perhaps we, as a species, have lost the capacity for recognizing beauty; perhaps emotion in its rawest form unsettles and discomforts us; perhaps we just lack the patience. Regardless of why it may be, poetry receives an unfair amount of backlash considering all that it’s done and continues to do for us.


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