Poetry is becoming a forgotten art form. Despite the fact that some of the greatest creative and artistic minds of all time chose this medium to express themselves poetry is still slipping away from most people.
Poetry has a breath taking purity and poignancy if done well. It can convey thoughts, images, scenes or emotions across centuries, cultures and classes. Whether it is a pithy Chinese Haiku or the haunting lines of Samuel Taylor Coleridge’s Kubla Khan this art form packs a punch.
Of course poetic writing is all around us. It exists in lyrics, film scripts and dialogue and even advertising. What is fading away from popular conscience is pure form poetry. The simple power of the limited number of words on a page communicating something vast and intrinsic to all of us.
Sometimes poetry can depict a scene from history with layers of understanding, relevance and pathos that we would never get from a picture or even a book. In modern times we have moved towards very limited versions of events fed to us from biased sources. Independent writing, art and poems are the view of the ordinary person. They cannot be erased from history if we care for them properly and in this way history cannot be rewritten to suit the interests of today’s dominant forces.
This powerful mode of both expression and communication has been with humanity for thousands of years. The first example of known poetry is considered to be the ancient Mesopotamian poem Epic of Gilyamesh which dates from the Third Dynasty of Ur (circa 2100 BC). The poetic form predates much of what we take for granted in modern life. Despite this the thoughts, feelings and stories from our ancient forefathers are as clear and relevant to us today as they were to readers thousands of years ago. Poetry must stay with us long into the future not just as a way to connect humanity across all borders and boundaries, including time and space, but to keep an accurate recording of history that can never be corrupted.