#PoetryFriday - Why We Need Poetry

I am super happy that Carol over at Carol's Corner is hosting this week's Poetry Friday. I started following her a year or so ago after participating in the March Slice of Life Challenge, and love her reflective writing style. Make sure you stop over on her blog and check out all the wondrous words happening this week!

Oh, what a week is the last week of the school year! I jokingly call it the exact longest and shortest week of the year. It often feels that way to me, with all the rushing about and organizational needs entailed in packaging up the world that existed inside one year of school.

The other day a friend of mine shared a great TED talk with me, focused around the idea of why we need poetry in our lives. I have been looking forward to sharing it here this week! And am possibly even more excited about watching the dozens of poetry related Ted talks I found here -- hmm, 36 current videos means one each week of school next year, right?

I don't believe you have to be a huge poetry buff to love and appreciate this video. Burt says he fell in love with poetry because he wanted to "know how and why." I loved hearing this, because just yesterday I talked about how, as a writer, I often wonder about the how's and why's of a given situation. 

No wonder I love poetry so much -- a poem is a world of patterns that explore the how and why of the universe, in a way.

The second stanza from the first poem Burt discusses in his talk is shared in part below (and you can read the rest here). I love that a poem written around 1896 remains true and relevant in 2014. The words of this poem resonate with me, in part because of where my boys are in life right now -- on the precipice of adulthood, needing both to learn and teach, blowing across the world's wide highway as tumbleweeds. 

I look forward to knowing the them they are becoming, but oh how I love holding on tight and joining in on the ride as they go! It's funny, isn't it, how many lives we can live in one lifetime.
Poem XXXII: From far, from eve and morning
(second stanza)

Now-- for a breath I tarry 
Nor yet disperse apart-- 
Take my hand quick and tell me, 
What have you in your heart. 
--A.E. Housman


  1. Thanks for sharing this! I'm looking forward to watching this TED talk when I have some free time in the days ahead. Another wonderful TED talk about poetry is Sarah Kay's "If I Should Have A Daughter" linked on this page: http://www.ted.com/speakers/sarah_kay

  2. Thank you for sharing the TED Talk. Good line in your blog post: blowing across the world's wide highway as tumbleweeds.

  3. This is just to say that I have been here and read your words, but surgery on both thumbs last Tuesday prevents me from typing a personalized comment. Forgive me -- copy/paste is the best I can do this week! :-)

  4. Kelly, thanks first, for your kind words about my writing! This was our last week of school, too, which is why I'm so late finishing up the poetry roundup. When I finish, I will definitely listen to this TED talk. Charles Waters also had a great post about why we need poetry in this age of CCSS. You might want to check it out. http://utahreading.org/index.php?page=making-time-for-poetry-and-connecting-with-common-core-standards