In honor of National Poetry Month we asked our ADA Advisory board:
Why does poetry matter to you?
Here are their answers.
Poetry, important poetry, places us where we belong while so much lugs us into worlds that eat away at everything we cherish.
I have always wanted to be a rockstar, mostly so that women could be assisted in finding me attractive. As it is, there are just these few lines I can write some days and your fingers now strumming these next few words into electric sound. I rise up each morning so that I might strike fire, shake the ground and sit back down to sigh a grateful thank you. Even this was nice, don’t you think? This poem right here.
Poetry was probably the writing form that I found most intimidating while growing up. It is only now, in my “dotage,” that I have begun to appreciate its power. In a sense, I view it as sculpting with words. I love the way that poetry – at least that which I can understand – cuts to the heart of the matter with beauty and economy.
Reading poetry connects me to a literary tradition dating back to troubadours singing ballads. Writing poetry helps me discover what I need to know.
For a time when I was child I believed that if someone gently placed a dry hand flat on my forearm, then whatever I was feeling—peace or turmoil—would pass through from my skin into that person’s palm, a relayed touch of recognition. This innocent notion probably evolved from how my mother pressed her hand on my forehead when I was ill and registered, with certainty, fever or well being.
Once after a fall, but showing no visible signs of injury, I pulled my older brother’s hand to my arm. “It hurts!” I cried. “Feel it! Feel how it hurts!” He wrinkled his face and frowned. “It doesn’t work that way.”
However, not long after that, I discovered poetry and found that yes, it does work that way. Poetry is the hand that when placed on the skin of another, knows.