Why You Should Read and Write Poetry

Writing poetry will help you engage with your emotions in a smart way, and that will help you know yourself and understand others.

Dwight Longenecker
February 1, 2018

In this dull utilitarian age, there seems little less useful than poetry. What good is it? There are few who get rich writing or publishing poetry, and when it comes to practicality, it is practically good for nothing.

On second consideration, however, reading and writing poetry is extremely practical, and because our techno-utilitarian age is so focused on usefulness and economy, poetry is more vital than ever.

Where there is famine, food is precious.

So consider for a few moments the practicality of poetry. Reading and writing poetry is good for you. It’s good for your mind. It stretches your linguistic faculties in ways that pay off.

Here is why reading poetry is good for you:

First of all, poetry is emotional.

It engages that organ which is most underused in academia—the heart. Reading poetry is not simply about understanding the rhyme scheme of an Alexandrian sonnet or being able to write a paper on the theological conceits of the metaphysical poets. A poem is first and foremost an expression of emotion.

You have to engage your feelings when you read a poem or you haven’t read the poem.

This is important because academia wants you to be objective and scientific all the time. The poet proclaims, “Forget the science already! We want passion, not pie charts!”

While poetry engages your emotions it does so in a rational and structured way. Poetry is smart. It dances a formal dance around the emotions and engages them while also engaging your brain. Emotion on its own is mere sentimentality. Emotion in classical poetry fuses the intellect with emotion in a high and noble human experience.

Secondly, reading poetry expands your linguistic capabilities.

On the simplest level it will widen out your vocabulary, but more importantly, it will widen out the way you think. Poetry takes your thinking processes outside the box. You are forced…

Continue reading here…