Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Quotes on Poetry

We make out of the quarrel with others, rhetoric, but of the quarrel with ourselves, poetry.
--William Butler Yeats

Poems are just stories...with the boring parts left out.
--W. H. Auden

Genuine poetry can communicate before it is understood.
--T. S. Eliot

Poetry is nearer to vital truth than history.

A poet's work is to name the unnameable, to point at frauds, to take sides, start arguments, shape the world, and stop it going to sleep.
--Salman Rushdie

I gave up on new poetry myself thirty years ago, when most of it began to read like coded messages passing between lonely aliens on a hostile world.
--Russell Baker

There's no money in poetry, but then there's no poetry in money, either.
--Robert Graves

Poetry is to philosophy what the Sabbath is to the rest of the week.
--Augustus William Hare and Julius Charles Hare

Poetry is life distilled.
--Gwendolyn Brooks

Poetry is not an expression of the party line. It's that time of night, lying in bed, thinking what you really think, making the private world public, that's what the poet does.
--Allen Ginsberg

Poetry is a journal of a sea animal living on land, wanting to fly the air.
--Carl Sandburg

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Poetry Gets a Bad Rap, but Both are Spoken Words

Poetry isn't bad rap, good rap is poetry. I got the rap on poetry; life imprisonment.

Poetry began as an oral tradition, part of the lives of working people and ruling people. It was a part of relating oral history, stories, myths, genealogy, law, and liturgy. Gradually, it became a practice more common in academia than in everyday life. Despite rap and slam poetry (which have done much to popularize spoken word), poetry is now often said to be obsolete. That's just silly. It is as vibrant as ever.

I love poetry for the same reasons I love other art forms: the feelings it evokes; its ability to teach and uplift; the appreciation of human similarities and differences it gives; beauty; the sense of awe and community it fosters; its humor; the transcendence amidst suffering it offers.

I feel passionately that poetry can be as accessible as any other art form. As in music, movies, painting, sculpture, photography, and dance, there is great variety in spoken word; but, perhaps because of the way it is taught, or lack of exposure, many people believe they don’t like poetry and poetry is not relevant to them. I believe many people can appreciate poetry but have not yet found the kind they like.

That's a wrap.