Poetry? Why Bother?

Marilyn Monroe with poet Edith Sitwell

Did you know T.S.Eliot was friends with Groucho Marx? And here’s Marilyn Monroe in conversation with Edith Sitwell. Edith is saying, “How does that tune go again, ‘I wanna be loved by you…’”

Here is my latest article for Intercollegiate Review. It explains why we should bother with poetry. It applies especially to college students, but it is worth reading for anyone who is involved in communications–either written or verbal.

Here is why reading poetry is good for you: First of all, poetry is emotional. It engages that organ which is most underused in academia–the heart. Reading poetry is not simply about understanding the rhyme scheme of an Alexandrian sonnet or being able to write a paper on the theological conceits of the metaphysical poets. A poem is first and foremost an expression of emotion. You have to engage your feelings when you read a poem or you haven’t read the poem. This is important because academia wants you to be objective and scientific all the time. The poet proclaims, “Forget the science already! We want passion, not pie charts!” While poetry engages your emotions it does so in a rational and structured way. Poetry is smart. It does a formal dance around the emotions and engages them while also engaging your brain. Emotion on its own is mere sentimentality. Emotion in classical poetry fuses the intellect with emotion in a high and noble human experience.

Go here to read the whole piece.