Why Is Poetry Alive?

The existence of poetry is undying, opposite from that of language that exists only to convey information. Journalism, for instance, is comprised of dead language. Facts are facts and there is no passion or personal meaning in that. Most journalism is written in a standard style, using generic words, and catered for the broadest scope of readers possible. On the flip side, the words used in poetry carry meaningful weight, to the poet and to the reader.

There are two different types of poets, the public poet and the private poet. A public poet uses words that have the same meaning to the reader as they do to the poet. A private poet uses words that mean something different to the poet than they do to the reader. A poet understands the style they write in and who they are writing for: the reader or themselves. A public poet needs to be brighter than his readers and has to work on being entertaining in his writing to keep the readers reading. A private poet gives him/herself up to the words that rule his/her life and leaves it up to the reader do the interpreting.

An article dies the moment it is read, while a poem can live forever as long as it is read. The same poem can be read at 20 years old and reread at 40 years old and have a different meaning for the same reader. This is why poetry is alive.

Chew on this: when is the last time you reread an article and discovered that its meaning had changed for you? Can the same be said about a poem?


Thanks for reading! Let me know what you think about poetry being alive!

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4 thoughts on “Why Is Poetry Alive?

      • It’s a categorization I first came across in a critique/comparison of Indian vernacular poetry and Western poetry. Internal poetry deals with the inner turmoil, the feelings of the poet, naked and unfiltered with no external focus. It does not take cues from the world around, rather the world is molded into whatever the poet fantasizes it to be. For eg, rain brings hurt and pain to an external poet, the pain brings rain to an internal poet, if it brings rain at all. I wish I could make it clearer but I’m writing off the top of my head! šŸ™‚

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