“When power corrupts, poetry cleanses.”
We are in the middle of National Poetry Month and I have been reflecting on the variety and power of poems.
John F. Kennedy wrote “Robert Frost coupled poetry and power, for he saw poetry as the means of saving power from itself. When power leads men towards arrogance, poetry reminds him of his limitations. When power narrows the areas of man’s concern, poetry reminds him of the richness and diversity of his existence. When power corrupts, poetry cleanses. For art establishes the basic human truth which must serve as the touchstone of our judgment.”
Not having much exposure to poetry readings before we opened the bookstore, I have learned much from a wide range of events over the years. We have had the honor of hosting Grace Paley, Sydney Lea, Cynthia Huntington, Vievee Francis, Jeff Friedman, Cleopatra Mathis, and last week Carol Armstrong, to name just a few. These writers have shown me how portraying an image or an emotion with just a few words can shift perspectives, open minds, and touch hearts.
I am challenging myself to read and consider a poem each day for the next year. Classic and contemporary, I will dip into my mother-in-law’s Norton Anthology and collections by local authors. What poets do you recommend? ~ Liza