April is National Poetry Month. I have to confess that I’ve never been a fan of poetry, though I applaud those who write it and others who try to interpret it. Poetry just seems like a written expression of one’s dreams, nightmares, and hazy memories that are mixed with unachievable desires. It is a blurry world, one that is not rooted anywhere. It is not concrete or universal. I need a decoder, translator, or psychiatrist to figure out what the author is trying to say.
Still, I am not here to bury poetry, but merely to recognize the brilliance provided by this enigma.
So how does one find an appreciation of poetry?
First, you must come to know about the great poets, like Chaucer, Dickinson or Angelou—or Keats, Byron, Auden, Eliot and Shakespeare. To get an introduction on how to decipher poems or gain a greater appreciation for the long-practiced art, check out Poetry 101: A Crash Course in Poetry by Susan Dalzell (Adams Media).
“Poetry is among the most complex art forms evolved by the human race,” says the book’s introduction. “It uses words in unique ways to create emotional responses, sometimes using those words in vastly different ways than we do in ordinary speeches. It’s also one of the oldest art forms; no on really knows when the first poem was composed. Just that it was thousands of year ago.”
If you want to know more about poetry, consult www.poets.org, the home of the Academy of American Poets. Their site says: “Literature is, and has always been, the sharing of experience, the pooling of human understanding about living, loving, and dying. Successful poems welcome you in, revealing ideas that may not have been foremost in the writer’s mind in the moment of composition. The best poetry has a magical quality—a sense of being more than the sum of its parts—and even when it’s impossible to articulate this sense, this something more, the power of the poem is left undiminished.
“In a proclamation issued on April 1, 1996, President Bill Clinton declared “National Poetry Month offers us a welcome opportunity to celebrate not only the unsurpassed body of literature produced by our poets in the past, but also the vitality and diversity of voices reflected in the works of today’s American poetry…Their creativity and wealth of language enrich our culture and inspire a new generation of Americans to learn the power of reading and writing at its best.”
Poetry is not just about the substance of content but its style of form. Limericks, iambic pentameter, rhyme and other forms all fall under poetry. The themes vary from birth to death and all shades and stages of life in between. Poetry can be emotionally serious, humorous, or descriptive, It can be read by 100 people, and you’ll hear 100 interpretations of it that no one agrees on.
Poetry, for all of its strengths and weaknesses, has been with us for many, many centuries and millennia, and I hope it shall continue to be with us even if I haven’t got a clue as to what most poems mean.
“The very concept of objective truth is fading out of the world xxx will pass into history.”
“With fact and opinion now presented side by side on the Internet, who know what to believe anymore? With no filters and no vetting, readers and xxx these days are readily exposed to a steady stream of pure partisanship.”
--Lee McIntyre, Post-Truth
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Brian Feinblum’s insightful views, provocative opinions, and interesting ideas expressed in this terrific blog are his alone and not that of his employer or anyone else. You can – and should -- follow him on Twitter @theprexpert and email him at firstname.lastname@example.org. He feels much more important when discussed in the third-person. This is copyrighted by BookMarketingBuzzBlog ©2020. Born and raised in Brooklyn, he now resides in Westchester. His writings are often featured in The Writer and IBPA’s Independent. This was named one of the best book marketing blogs by Book Baby http://blog.bookbaby.com/2013/09/the-best-book-marketing-blogs and recognized by Feedspot in 2018 as one of the top book marketing blogs. Also named by WinningWriters.com as a "best resource.” He recently hosted a panel on book publicity for Book Expo America.
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