Sunday, October 27, 2019

In case you wondered …

… Why poetry matters. (Hat tip, Dave Lull.)

As Auden says, poetry is “a way of happening”. It takes the passage of time, the reality of loss, the absorption in a sharpened kind of seeing or hearing, and makes all these into speech that can survive (as Auden also insists) and help others survive. Its task of “turning noise into music” is thus irreducibly political, a sustained resistance to commodified, generalised language and the appalling reductions of human possibility that this brings with it. Far from being a decorative adjunct to social or public life, it represents the possibilities to which all intelligent and humane social life should point. “Poetry saves the world every day.”

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