Why Poetry?

I am still working on my 40 Before Forty book list, and I will post it soon. I can say that poetry will remain a component of this list, and I just read a beautiful quote that sort of explains why. Thought I would share:

Nobody looks at a painting or hears a piece of classical music and responds with, “What does it mean?” as they often do with poetry. People mistake poetry for philosophy-in-a-can, or a secret message that needs to be decoded. That is often how it is presented in school.

But poetry, like any art form, is about pleasure. It is primarily a somatosensory experience: sounds, senses, images, and, yes, the pleasure of ideas. Poetry has the greatest capacity to accommodate ideas of any art form, but beautiful ideas are pleasure. Poetry, like any art, is just a way of talking about the things we can’t talk about. – James Galvin


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