I'm not pooh-poohing poetry of witness, quite the opposite. Forget that, and we forget poetry's true function. Shame on them. These might seem like grand dreams, but it is just such a belief in the power of poetry that spurs my pen to action, whether I am getting paid or not. Otherwise a poem could not bind—as many poems do bind—solitudes and make connections among readers who do not live in the same society, nor even in the same century. As Celan wrote, "I am you / if I am." Of plumbing and carpentry? Content matters—poetry is far more than a formal game—but does not supply utility. "I run a weekly group for abusive men," he said. It is great to be in such a diversifed group.Needless to say, for those 2 hours, once a week meetings are mind opening to new thought patterns of how the individuals process their creativity.A full range of emotions it encompasses.Inspiration from the spoken word can come from everyday conversations. Major Jackson: The function of poetry is that it does not have any function beyond its own construction and being-in-the-world. Daisy Fried: Why not a summation made up of parts? They may enact, for example, an obsessive rhythmic movement in the body onto the page, or explore the significance of a gripping image. Culture of Nepal. I think poetry ought to be taught not as an engine of meaning but as an opportunity to learn to live in doubt and uncertainty, as a means of claiming indeterminancy. "The Mill-Race" is good and usefulbecause it presents in extraordinary language an aspect of the human condition, not some false solution having to do with feel-good "relat(ing) to drained faces." See if you can catch the punch line in Stephen Crane's "A Man Said to the Universe." If one lesbian or gay student lives, does not consider suicide because they've found themselves reflected in a poem, that's pretty social. The difference between solace porn and sex porn is that solace pornographers seldom seem aware that they're making pornography. Quality does. If so, let me add another: one of poetry's chief aims is to illumine the walls of mystery, the inscrutable, the unsayable. Stephanie (also Steph; formerly Stephen) Burt is a poet, literary critic, and professor. Dmitri Shostakovich faced (and sometimes tried to satisfy) the demands of Soviet musical realism. Sex pornography has its uses, even positive ones, but nobody confuses it with serious art about love. Poetry is fun! The gaiety of great poetry reinforces and deepens our humanity. They seem to claim authenticity for individual experiences derived from watching TV—and fail to ask the question, why do these people want to kill us? Customs and traditions differ from one part of Nepal to another. Whatever you think of the folks who fix your pipes, you know roughly what they get paid to do, and why the people who pay them value their services. On high alert, I stop to read. She has been... Major Jackson's books of poems are Holding Company (2010, Norton) and Hoops (2006, Norton), both finalists for an NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Literature-Poetry, and Leaving Saturn (2002, University of Georgia Press), which was awarded the Cave Canem Poetry Prize for a first book of poems and was a finalist for the National Book... Emily Warn was born in San Francisco and grew up in California and Detroit. 2 Words matter. It's easy to talk about some "them" for whom poetry is useful. Since then, travelling at least a small portion of this world and living abraod, indulging myself in the languages and literatures of the wider part of East Asia, as well as talking with a great many people, I have come a realization. Culture is all about where we live, our language, the food we eat, the clothes we wear, the … It is well known that post-Independence India has produced many brilliant writers whose writings have their own There are good 9/11 poems. The pattern of the sentences sound new and melodious. It is a worthy expression of emotion, or deep feelings, and aesthetics, or a sense of what is beautiful about the world. Most people in this world do not read, do not enjoy reading and read only to fulfill concrete educational requirments. The degraded Romanticism of the mass of bad ones often amounts to decorative displays of the poet's own sensibility. "For it is not metres, but a metre-making argument that makes a poem—a thought so passionate and alive that like the spirit of a plant or an animal it has architecture of its own, and adorns nature with a new thing." Here are some things you could consider in placing a text in ‘context’: the life or biography of the poet; other works that the poet has written; the historical period in which that poem was written; the place or event that gave rise to the … Society prompts poetry (at least if you're me); poetry, in turn, can be a highly effective tool in portraying one's take on societal issues. Poets, he's saying, weld new relations and add new forms to the world. If there are universal truths about the communicative functions in poems—truths about all good poems, not just about "The Mill-Race"—they are so universal that they do not count as social, by my lights: they concern communication among just two persons at a time, whether the two meet face-to-face, or whether implicit author and genuine reader live thousands of years apart. We shouldn't denigrate this capacity, no matter how much we are being paid. D.It is a code for "cool" in the poem. The quote perfectly describes the importance of poetry in a human being’s life. It isn't as limited as ever it once was. Absolutely. Culture is the distinctive practices and beliefs of a society. Your, Raiul Baztepo. First, it is a historically specific understanding, one which describes many superb poems, but leaves out many—to say the least—wonderfully memorable uses of verse (e.g. Yes. Kathmandu Valley has served as the country’s cultural metropolis since the unification of Nepal in the 18th Century. Milton's sonnet against the Long Parliament). Over centuries, the poem also says, these workers have raised cathedrals, invented art. Here For this reason, poetry makes everything (and, yes, nothing) happen, especially in a consumer society prone to assessing and dispensing value to everything from lap dances to teachers' salaries. In a highly thought-provoking piece, the Poetry Foundation interviewed a few poets to probe their thoughts concerning the societal role of poetry. Inevitably, someone here, or in a bomb shelter in northern Israel or southern Lebanon, will turn to poetry to read at a funeral service, or to jump-start terrorized lives and pulverized communities. It enacts a central human paradox: we exist as singular selves, yet can only know them through our relations. Poems such as "The Mill-Race" make us aware of the social conditions that shape our relations; their language helps us dwell in, puzzle out, and feel the conditions and the relations, no matter how terrible, making a change in them more possible. (Even those that you hide, drown, or burn are social in the sense that the poet who's written them has discovered or resolved or expressed something, and will take that into social interactions...). ... and to get across the larger message of the importance of establishing cross-cultural human connections. Maya Angelou, Billy Collins, as well as the more politically-minded poets like Adrienne Rich, Sonia Sanchez, and Palestinian-American poet Suheir Hammad all reach beyond mere aestheticism and challenge accepted notions of the above solipsistic poet toiling away at a few columns of free verse. Classical literary works serve as a food for thought and encourage imagination and creativity. Culture grows from roots more enduring than those of the political state. The oral tradition can take many forms, including epic poems, chants, rhymes, songs, and more. Ms. Hardworking Roto-Rooter could care less about your dithyrambs. There is not one monolithic "Poetry," especially here, now in America, where people are coming to poetry from so many different languages, traditions, mythologies/cosmologies, and bringing it all to the English language. In particular, the poem makes use of sensory images (i.e., sight, touch, taste, smell, and sound) to describe the mask and mimics the tone or mood of the mask's original purpose. Theodor Adorno's social (and antisocial) theories demanded that composers, and writers, protect that "isolated, fragmented self of modern consciousness" against the false claims of a bad social whole. No question about it. However, this is not to say the sole purpose of poetry is to serve as social commentary. Rather, they have effect of making a pefectly wonderful occasion awkward. "The Mill-Race" by Anne Winters serves as proof text. The ‘social, historical and cultural’ contexts can consist of a variety of factors. Is healing really the domain only of prescriptive drugs? I once had a social worker approach me after a reading to thank me for writing a particular poem. Emily says yes: "poetry binds solitudes," creating "a presence" in whose contemplation we "encounter ourselves" alongside other readers and writers. Poetry teaches us how to live. The poem captured the imagination of writers and artists who were alienated from the dominant social forms of Dwight Eisenhower's America. It is a vehicle for cultural survival. Ceremonies are filled with ritual. This is a principle deduced from the nature of culture, not from the nature of the state. The function of War and Peace is greater than its many uses. In novels, poetry, social commentary, and the like, where language plays such an important role, we are able to briefly overlook the implication of cultural dissonance. The quikest way to lose the respect of friends, family and colleagues is to write poetry for them. For the record, I never feel guilty getting paid, ever. You can separate its content from its uses, which are to shake people from their consumer stupor and usher them into indeterminate mystery." i'm senior in high school and we have senior projects to do mine is on poetry and how it affects a persons mood. Some people devote their lives to Art Song. Art of witness is essential. (I could have used ASL interpreters, or oncologists.) And here's where I disagree with Daisy. please. The only literature that should be allowed to exist is that which aggrandizes whichever government regime is in power at any given time in order to induce patriotic rapture. If a poem has something to say and says it well, it will be remembered. Poems are necessary because they honor the unknown, both in us and in the world. It is a place to witness. I solve problems with its lines—not just their lexicon, but the life breathed into form by rhythm, rhyme or meter: a riddle; a moment of joy. Why exclude ourselves from our own readership? Poetry is a way to understand how language and symbol systems work. It occurs in every culture and from every age. Students often go wrong by writing more about the historical background or the life of the poet than about the poem itself. Insert context header here: J. Alfred Prufrock and Modernism Oral storytelling is telling a story through voice and gestures. But at some point the poem takes over, makes requirements of us instead of vice versa. The only kind of poetry that doesn't have social function is that which tells us how to think about X, Y, or Z, or tells us to buck up, or that the world is a wonderful place. Modern society isn't just a few billion people. We are more likely to experience great visual art in the presence of others (in museums); we might say such experience connects us more evidently than can the silent reading of verse whose authors we have never met. 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