Poetry has been there for eternity. And how long eternity has been there is a question that no one can answer. Poetry has seen ages and ages have seen various pandemics and catastrophes those swallowed millions of people from time to time. Even in the times of Black Death, Bengal Famine, many kinds of flu and a recently, arguable, ‘innovated’ Chinese virus, Coronavirus by the name and COVID-19 by the codename, poetry has been there for people to offer us momentary and much-needed respite. While the world fights this virus with various governments around the world announcing lockdown and extending stay at home advisories, people have taken to poetry to pass their time and learn something by reading the words of those whom Shelley called the unacknowledged legislators of life.
Many literary websites are writing what poets and poems could be the ideal choices for a situation like this. Likewise, on many discussion platforms as well, people are self-discussing the poets they might read now. One such discussion is going on with people offering their inputs on a noted and leading online literature forum called English Literature Forum. Someone is inspiring people to read the poems by Keats and Eliot while another one is advising exploring the poems by those who could not make it big among the names like Wordsworth and Shakespeare. Voices from all sides are coming.
Why is poetry important? This question might use very well the situations like today. When we are defeated mentally, our mind and heart do need some words of relief. These words usually don’t come from those who are around us because that can lead to a conversation and a conversation can go any way. We cannot control the direction of two-way communication because another one is also speaking. With poetry, we don’t need to communicate with the poet. We just need to understand what the poet is trying to suggest. Poetry gives us the liberty to interpret a text as per our own emotions and needs of the hour and this is the beauty of verse which is leading people around the globe to discover solace in poetry. So, what are you reading today?
I would suggest going for the poems which talk of peace, harmony and hope. Reading poems that are full of positivity, inspiration and hope will encourage you in the times when people are locking themselves inside their homes to stay safe. Crisis gives us time for introspection and reading poetry can further add a new level of understanding to that. Wordsworth, Shakespeare, Keats are some of the finest poets you can read. If you want a dose of realism, you can read Eliot or Arnold. In short, read any poet you like. Reading is the best possible and alleviating idea for now. All the best!
by a contributor to Literature News