From Mark Broach:
‘What is poetry? “Poetry is the other way of using language,” goes one definition. It’s what gets left behind in translation, goes another. It’s a hundred things: rhythm, harmony, metaphor, compression, juxtaposition, an obsession with the line. But what is poetry for? That topic’s up for debate this weekend, so we put the question to a group of poets.
The current New Zealand Poet Laureate, CK Stead, says poetry has many roles, some seemingly conflicting.
“It’s for pleasure, intellectual and emotional. It’s sometimes for what Yeats called ‘the fascination of what’s difficult’; and sometimes for a sense of ease, effortlessness, peace and harmony. It’s to remind us of the best uses that have been made, and can still be made, of what marks the human species out as unique on our planet – language. Shakespeare says ‘The truest poetry is the most feigning’, and Wilfred Owen says, ‘The true poets must be truthful’, and both are right without contradiction.”
Tim Upperton wonders if poetry is of any use at all. “If you go by the words of some of its famous practitioners, poetry’s not much good for anything.” ‘
For the rest of the article see here.
Mark also consults CK Stead, our current Poet Laureate, and the three poets performing here:
Kate Camp, Gregory O’Brien and Louise Wallace speak at “A Still Small Voice – What Does Poetry Do for Us?”, a session at Wanaka’s Aspiring Conversations on Sunday, April 24.