Wednesday, September 27, 2017

What is the role of poetry?

What do you think is the role of poetry in today's society? Is poetry just an archaic throwback? Is it a living and breathing part of our current reality? What roles do poets play in a world full of Internet, phones that can do everything but bake a cake, and cars that are "smart?" How can poets bring value to this modern age?

This is question that is long debated. And everyone seems to have a different idea. I come in on the John Lennon side of things:
Photo: John Lennon. Text: "My role in society, or any artist or poet’s role, is to try and express what we all feel. Not to tell people how to feel. Not as a preacher, not as a leader, but as a reflection of us all." – John Lennon

I think the role of the poet is to be a mirror to society. To allow people to see what is happening. Giving observations, moving through the trickery of language to shake out meaning in what can sometimes feel like a meaningless world.

If you want to.

If that goal is comfortable for you.

 I can't tell you what to do with your poetry. I can only give you a suggestion or an idea. If during this next month's challenge, you're feeling stuck, look to the news. Look to your neighbor. Look to inside of you. Let your words be that mirror.

I thought about leaving a social commentary poem here for you to think about, but songs are just poetry with a beat. And Marvin Gaye's lament asking what's going on still feels apt today.

Let me know in the comments, what do you think is the role of the poet?

Tamara Woods was raised (fairly happily) in West Virginia, where she began writing poetry at the age of 12. She published her first poetry collection, The Shaping of an “Angry” Black Woman in 2014 and is working on her first fiction novel due out in winter 2016. She is the Editor of The Reverie Journal, a poetry publication. She also moderates #writestuff a weekly writing Twitter chat. You can find her on Twitter here. She works as a full-time freelance writer and doesn’t post nearly enough her blog PenPaperPad. She creates videos about books and writing on her YouTube channel. She is a hillbilly hermit in Honolulu living with her Mathemagician.

1 comment:

  1. Thank you for a thoughtful post to get us ready for October's poem-a-day challenge. You inspired my morning poem . . .


Your words feed the hearts of the poets who lovingly volunteer to share their passion for poetry with you.

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