Poetry Is The Corrective

by | Feb 5, 2014

America needs more poets and more lovers of poetry.

I am prepared to do my part as a citizen, and as a writer and reader of verse.

The clever display of the poem fragment above is from Paulann Petersen, Oregon’s Poet Laureate. Interestingly, in this Art Beat Oregon segment on OPB, Petersen says poetry must be spoken to be fully realized.

She is right! Here I am sounding out a poem about living in the white noise of Chicago.

U.S. Poet Laureate Natasha Trethewey, writing in Virginia Quarterly, says it’s important to see poetry as a cultural force, and to believe in the necessity of it.

Trethewey also makes this deeply poetic point about poetry’s place in our culture:

Each day we are faced with sound bites and catchphrases deadening and trivializing our language, the widening gulf of our ideological differences eroding civil discourse and our ability to truly communicate with each other, to hear each other. For all of that, poetry is the corrective, the sacred language that allows us to connect across time and space, across all the things in everyday life that separate us and would destroy us.

“Poetry is the corrective.”

Damn. What a great thought perfectly expressed.