A few days ago, I was fishing through the news when a tidbit caught my eye. On March 25, 2009, Newsweek posted a small stub on their website, an insignificant breadcrumb of an article that surely not many people will read—that poetry readership is down to the lowest point it has been in 16 years. The article, titled with foreshadowing, is blankly called, "The End of Verse?" and includes a link to a follow-up story titled, "Poetry Is Dead, Does Anybody Really Care?" written in May of 2003.
Now, maybe it's just because I'm a poet, but this does not fly. Poetry, dead? And no one cares? Poetry has been a beautiful, powerful, inspirational art form for thousands of years, from when Sappho first picked up to lyre to "that guy" that read the other night at the Nuyorican Poets Cafe. Why? Because poetry can—and does—express anything—from a wait in a dentist's office as a metaphor for war to a hilarious romp through language.
April is National Poetry Month, a time to celebrate any and all types of poetry. Beginning this Wednesday, I challenge you all to read, write, or discover a poem. Whether you're a chemistry major, a fiction writer, an historian—whatever. Go to poetry. Nurse her back to health. Tell your friends. Share her beauty. Read the Poem of the Week. Smile and shake her hand. Dance with her.
Find poetry. You won't regret the search.