Poetry is a Vehicle of Meaning, Necessary Now as Ever

Helium.com :: Poetry is the frontier where language in use comes in contact with future meaning, and in the process, when best executed, brings a wealth of transcendent truths into the present. Poetry is relevant to all uses of language, though there may be trends that suggest popular culture is looking to new forms of poetic activity to replace specific old models: many musical artists now play the role of mythic historian or wandering troubadour, but poetry is not confined to these purposes.

The art of the rhyming couplet, the frenetic ebb and flow of iambic pentameter, sometimes seem in today’s language environment more a distraction than a vehicle for delivering meaning across time. Poetry now resides in subtler places in more intricate and interrelated forms. It seeps into political discourse, into rap, into the dialogue between two characters on a movie screen, often for brief moments, then pushed aside by a mass of prose and fact and circumstance. But this is not new and it is not hazardous to poetry’s survival as a concentrated art-form fashioning new molds and opening new horizons.

It has always been the case that the oracular function of poetry, looking deep within or to the far reaches of the known and knowable, happens at the edges of the prosaic, at the fringe of our collective normalcy, in a place where in direct proportion to the intensity of the vision we confront those basic truths of our existence we often prefer not to engage.

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