Poetry Month – Poetry and Prejudice

poetry monthAs many of my reader’s already know, I’m a great fan of poetry. I even dabble in a bit of it myself, though I will be the first to say that my own poetry sucks. I need to stretch my fingers a bit more when I put words on paper, which is why I have such great respect for a wordsmith that can do in ten words what it takes me in ten thousand.

I read all kinds of prose and poetry and it doesn’t have to be a specifically oriented in gender, ethnicity or race. It just has to be good; it has to touch me and evoke something from within myself that makes me stop and wonder why I have not noticed this before.

But honestly, there are many times when I think that the words we commit ourselves to, both in our writing and our reading, are hindered by the labels we put on it. Or should we blame marketers and publishers who value easily labelled societal segments for being neat little cubbyholes of potential sales and profit?  That would be a bit too easy, wouldn’t it? It would be all their fault, and not our own ingrained prejudices and petty bigotries that we don’t let out to the world or, often, comprehend within ourselves.

Poetry exposes those gilded crimes, like good prose. It opens us to new possibilities and worlds, new ways of thinking, it keeps us breathless, pent up, internalized until we can stand it no more.  Save with our tears and our sorrow and our joy. It shows us the chair in the forest of words.

Poetry has that effect. Because that’s what its for. For change and progress and evolution.

For the soul; the one that beats, the one to come, and the one that has passed.


Photo credit: H. Keller