What does poetry do, really?

That was a question from a third grader at Edgewood Elementary today. I responded that I think that poetry brings folks together. I’m open for other responses if anyone reading this has a better one.

The fourth grade hallway at Edgewood was covered in red paper painted to look like brick. The kids had scribbled poems on the papered walls like graffiti. There were stacks of boxes and a trash can, all combined to make the hallway into an alleyway, just like on the cover of I Never Said I Wasn’t Difficult. All the grades had done special projects, but the fourth graders — Wow. Special thanks to Liz Clagget who not only coordinated my visit to Edgewood, but to all the Marysville schools. The kindergarten was able to read and perform Copycat. Very impressive. And they did it with attitude. Boy, did they.

Thunder storms tonight, heavy rain. From the looks of those dusty fields yesterday, the rain is needed.

4 responses to “What does poetry do, really?”

  1. harvey says:

    What does poetry do? Hrm.

    For the person writing poetry, I think poetry lets that little nugget in everybody’s gut go nuts.

    For the person reading poetry aloud, I think poetry keeps them from taking the beauty of speech for granted.

    For the person reading poetry silently, I think it keeps them from feeling alone inside their head. If it is good poetry of course.

    So, sorta what you said I guess.

  2. Mike says:

    the answer i heard ages ago, that i liked is that poetry is “condensed language”

    poetry condenses and distills experience in an artful way…

  3. Mike says:

    it is able to do so because it uses both the meaning of the words, along with the sound of the words and the rhythm – taken together it means more than the words themselves literally do -so in that sense it is condensed…

  4. Cool blog! Keep it up!

    What does poetry do?

    Maybe a better question is “what does poetry do to me?”

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