Today is National Poetry Day in the UK and I dutifully shared one of my favourite poems on Facebook and Twitter:
In what might be called a very modern way, I discovered this poem through a film. It is recited in Charlie St Cloud and I love how inspiring it is. A modern film using poetry is pretty rare these days. In fact, we seem to rarely discuss poetry at all. So, is it still relevant?
I should say that I do not consider myself a poetry expert at all. Occasionally, a poem pops into my head and I share them on this blog, I also see poems pop up on some of my favourite blogs sometimes and we all seem to write them to capture a particular moment or feeling we are having. Sometimes a poem seems to be the best (and only) way to describe something and writing it out helps either quell the feeling or make sure you remember it. Poems feel more emotional to me than just writing in prose.
However, I rarely read poems for pleasure. I have a book of poetry in the house but most of the poems in it are REALLY old, ones that we had to read in school and even though they cover the big themes like death and love and everything in between, they are mostly from a time far removed from our own. At the big celebrations in our lives – marriage or funerals, poems are reeled out but again, they are mostly what we know as “the classics”. A time when language and emotion were treasured. When poems were not only relevant but romantic. And were a way for people to communicate. I suspect only a few people could recite a modern poem. Poems seem to have slipped out of our consciousness as time has moved on, in a way that books have not.
I think it’s a shame that poems don’t seem to be revered in the same way today. I think they can have relevance to us. Poems can still stir emotions and capture moments and feelings in a simple and concise way that literature cannot. Perhaps schools play a part in this and should explore more than “the classics” and encourage people to write them. I suspect National Poetry Day won’t make a mark on much of the population but hopefully it will spur some people to pick up a poem that they wouldn’t usually and discover the treasure within.
Is poetry relevant to you?