19 December 2010

What can poetry do?

Last month, I set an assignment for my undergraduate poetry workshop students: respond to the question ‘What can poetry do?’ in 250 words or less. 
So in the closing days of December, I thought I’d reconsider the same question...

Poetry can:
Remind me of myself. Make me forget myself.
Remind me of other people, the world, how small and how immense we all are.
Make me look at a city street and actually see the intricate patterns of people and tarmac and cars.
Indulge my short attention span.
Linger long past reading it (and hang around my day).
Sound so satisfying when I read it out loud that I can almost taste the words.
Fit easily into my handbag. (And the length of a queue.)
Express the experiences and emotions I don’t have words for. 
Conjure a bridge to the deepest darkest most joyful parts of life.
Sing for me.
Thanks to www.savagechickens.com for the perfect first-blog-post sticky notes cartoon...